The Week Ahead
RETAIL SALES Tuesday, May 13, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Retail sales were probably flat in April, says the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, one of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Excluding vehicles, sales likely edged up 0.2%. In its annual benchmark revision to the data, released on May 2, the Commerce Dept. said that total retail buying rose 0.1% in March, not 0.2% as first reported, while nonauto sales edged up an unrevised 0.5%. PRODUCER PRICE INDEX Wednesday, May 14, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Producer prices of finished goods were likely unchanged in April, after falling 0.1% in March. Excluding food and energy, core prices likely rose 0.1% in April, on top of a larger-than-expected 0.4% gain in March. BUSINESS INVENTORIES Wednesday, May 14, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Inventories held by manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers probably rose 0.3% in March, the same increase posted in February. However, in calculating real gross domestic product growth for the first quarter, the Commerce Dept. estimated that March inventories had declined. CONSUMER PRICE INDEX Thursday, May 15, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- The MMS median forecast is that consumer prices probably rose by 0.2% in April, after edging up 0.1% in March. Excluding food and energy, the core CPI likely increased 0.2%, the same advance as in March. INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION Thursday, May 15, 9:15 a.m.EDT -- Industrial output likely rose 0.3% in April, after jumping 0.9% in March. But the MMS survey says that capacity use likely remained at 84.1% in April. HOUSING STARTS Friday, May 16, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Housing starts likely stood at an annual rate of 1.4 million in April, down from 1.43 million in March.
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