The Week Ahead
LEADING INDICATORS Monday, Aug. 5, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- The Conference Board is expected to report that its index of leading indicators rose 0.2% in June, according to the median projection of economists surveyed by MMS International, one of The McGraw-Hill Companies. The index gained 0.3% in May. The expected June advance would mark the fifth consecutive increase, the first time that has happened in more than two years. BEIGE BOOK Wednesday, Aug. 7, 12 noon EDT -- The Federal Reserve will release the results of its periodic survey of business conditions in each of its 12 districts. The report is prepared for use at the upcoming policy meeting on Aug. 20. The previous Beige Book noted generally moderate economic growth with low inflation, but it also pointed to a quickened pace of activity and tightening labor markets in some regions. Fed officials will be on the watch for any broadening of those conditions. CONSUMER CREDIT Wednesday, Aug. 7, 3 p.m.EDT -- The Federal Reserve is expected to report that consumer installment debt increased by $7.5 billion in June, following a $4.7 billion rise in May. Credit growth slowed substantially from February to May, after monthly gains averaging $11.4 billion in 1995. The runup in credit-card debt, which accounted for half of the growth in installment credit from 1993 to 1995, is beginning to slow. And excluding revolving credit, consumers actually liquidated debt in both April and May for the first time in more than three years. Given strong income growth, the ratio of debt to income may have peaked. PRODUCER PRICE INDEX Friday, Aug. 9, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- The Labor Dept. is expected to report that producer prices for finished goods in July rose 0.2%, according to the MMS survey, following a 0.2% increase in June. The core index, excluding energy and food, is also projected to rise 0.2%, also the same as in June.
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