The Week Ahead

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX
      Tuesday, Jan. 14, 8:30 a.m.EST -- Consumer prices for all goods and services 
      likely rose 0.3% in December, the same gain posted in each of the previous 
      three months. That's the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS 
      International, one of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Excluding food and energy, 
      prices likely grew 0.2% in December, the same as in November.
      
      RETAIL SALES
      Tuesday, Jan 14, 8:30 a.m.EST -- Retail sales likely edged up 0.2% in December. 
      Excluding cars, sales likely increased 0.3%. That's suggested by retailer 
      reports of a so-so holiday season. In November, total retail sales unexpectedly 
      fell 0.4%, but they rose 0.3% when car buying was excluded. The November data 
      could be revised higher.
      
      BUSINESS INVENTORIES
      Wednesday, Jan. 15, 8:30 a.m.EST -- The MMS survey expects that inventories at 
      manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers grew 0.3% in November, after a 0.5% 
      gain in October. Factories have already reported a 0.4% gain in their 
      stockpiles. Business sales in November were probably up 0.3% after a 0.2% rise 
      in October.
      
      INTERNATIONAL TRADE
      Friday, Jan. 17, 8:30 a.m.EST -- The foreign-trade deficit for all goods and 
      services probably widened in November, to about $10 billion, after narrowing 
      quite sharply in October, to $8 billion. Exports likely fell back in November 
      after jumping 4.2% in October. Imports probably rose in November after dipping 
      0.7%.
      
      INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION
      Friday, Jan. 17, 9:15 a.m.EST -- Industrial output probably increased by 0.2% 
      in December, on top of a 0.9% gain in November. The jump in November reflected 
      heavy energy demand because of unusually cold weather and a bounceback in auto 
      production after a strike in October. December capacity use probably stood at 
      83.4%, from 83.3% in November.
      

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