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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