The Week Ahead

PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS
      Tuesday, Aug. 12, 10 a.m. EDT -- Output per hour worked at nonfarm businesses 
      probably grew by a small 0.5% annual rate in the second quarter. That would be 
      quite a bit less than the 2.6% gain in the first. If so, nonfarm unit labor 
      costs probably rose 2.5% in the second quarter, the same large advance posted 
      in the first quarter.
      
      RETAIL SALES
      Wednesday, Aug. 13, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Retail sales probably increased by 0.4% in 
      July on top of a 0.5% gain in June, according to the median forecast of 
      economists surveyed by MMS International, one of The McGraw-Hill Companies. The 
      gain is suggested by weekly surveys of retail chains. Excluding cars, store 
      sales likely rose 0.4% last month after a 0.3% increase in June.
      
      PRODUCER PRICE INDEX
      Wednesday, Aug. 13, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Producer prices for finished goods likely 
      edged up just 0.1% in July, following a 0.1% drop in June. Excluding food and 
      energy prices, the core rate also likely rose 0.1% in July as it did in June.
      
      BUSINESS INVENTORIES
      Thursday, Aug. 14, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Inventories held by factories, wholesalers, 
      and retailers probably rose 0.3% in June, after growing 0.2% in May.
      
      CONSUMER PRICE INDEX
      Thursday, Aug. 14, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Consumer prices of goods and services 
      likely rose 0.2% in July, says the MMS survey. Core prices probably were also 
      up 0.2% last month. In June, both the total price index and the core index 
      increased just 0.1%.
      
      INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION
      Thursday, Aug. 14, 9:15 a.m. EDT -- Output at the nation's factories, mines, 
      and utilities likely rose just 0.2% in July, on top of a 0.3% increase in June. 
      A strike and retooling in the auto industry held back overall production gains. 
      As a result, the average operating rate for all industry in July likely 
      remained at June's 83.5%.
      
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