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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