The Week Ahead


Tuesday, Mar. 10, 10:00 a.m. EST -- Fourth-quarter growth in productivity in the nonfarm sector is expected to be revised downward to 1.6%, from the originally reported gain of 2%. The adjustment reflects the downgrading to the quarter's growth in real gross domestic product, to 3.9% from 4.3%.


Thursday, Mar. 12, 8:30 a.m. EST -- Retail sales are expected to have risen 0.4% in February, after edging up 0.1% in January, based on the median forecast of economists surveyed by Standard & Poor's MMS, a unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Excluding motor vehicles, sales are expected to have risen also by 0.4%, following January's 0.5% rise. Weekly survey results have suggested fairly strong buying activity in the month.


Thursday, Mar. 12, 10 a.m. EST -- Prices of imported goods are expected to have fallen 1% in February, after sharp drops of 1.3% in January and 0.9% in December. Lower oil prices are expected to have pulled down the overall index, but cheaper Asian imports likely resulted in a decline in nonpetroleum prices as well. Export prices also declined in both December and January, and likely dipped again in February.


Friday, Mar. 13, 8:30 a.m. EST -- Producer prices for finished goods in February are expected to have declined by 0.2%, following a steep drop of 0.7% in January that was led by the largest drop in energy prices since 1991. Excluding energy and food, the core index is expected to have edged lower by 0.1%. Through January, annual wholesale inflation was -1.3%, while core inflation was zero.


Friday, Mar. 13, 8:30 a.m. EST -- Manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers are expected to have increased their inventories by 0.4% in January, after a 0.4% rise in December.

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