The Week Ahead


Tuesday, Apr. 14, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Retail sales likely rose just 0.2% in March, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Standard & Poor's MMS, one of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Sales increased by 0.5% in February. Excluding cars, store receipts were probably up 0.1% on top of a 0.6% advance in February.


Tuesday, Apr. 14, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Consumer prices for goods and services likely rose 0.1% in March. Excluding food and energy, core prices likely rose 0.2%. In February, the total CPI edged up 0.1%, while higher service costs lifted the core index by 0.3%.


Wednesday, Apr. 15, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Stockpiles held at factories, wholesalers, and retailers probably increased 0.3% in February, after no change in January.


Thursday, Apr. 16, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- The S&P MMS survey projects that housing starts likely fell to an annual rate of 1.58 million in March after rising 6% in February, to a 1.64 million pace.


Friday, Apr. 17, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- The trade deficit of goods and services was probably little changed in February from January's large $12 billion. Both exports and imports probably held steady in February after each sector fell in January. The dollar value of all imports was probably held down by falling oil prices.


Friday, Apr. 17, 9:15 a.m.EDT -- Output at factories, mines, and utilities was probably flat in March, says the S&P MMS forecast. If so, that will be the second month of no change in output. The decline is suggested by the drop in hours worked in the factory sector. The softness in production suggests that the average operating rate for all industry likely slipped to 82.5% in March, from 82.7% in February.

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