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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