The Week Ahead
RETAIL SALES Tuesday, July 15, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Retail sales probably rose 0.2% in June, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, one of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Excluding cars, sales likely were up a stronger 0.4%. Store receipts have been falling since March. In May, sales fell 0.1% for all items, whether or not motor vehicles are excluded. CONSUMER PRICE INDEX Wednesday, July 16, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- The MMS report forecasts a small 0.2% increase in June for consumer prices of all goods and services as well as for core prices, which exclude food and energy. In May, the overall CPI rose 0.1%, while the core index edged up 0.2%. BUSINESS INVENTORIES Wednesday, July 16, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Inventories held by manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers grew 0.3% in May, the same increase recorded in April. Factories have already reported a 0.4% gain in their stockpiles. INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION Wednesday, July 16, 9:15 a.m.EDT -- The MMS forecast expects that industrial output rose 0.3% in June, after a 0.4% advance in May. However, the gain may be less since total hours worked in manufacturing fell. The average operating rate for all industry in June likely remained at May's 83.7%. HOUSING STARTS Thursday, July 17, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Housing starts probably rebounded to an annual rate of 1.41 million in June. Starts had fallen for three consecutive months, including a 4.8% drop in May. INTERNATIONAL TRADE Friday, July 18, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- The foreign trade deficit for goods and services likely widened to $9 billion in May, from $8.4 billion in April. Exports, which have risen for three months in a row, likely fell, while imports continued to rise to record highs.
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