The Week Ahead


Tuesday, July 14, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Consumer prices probably rose 0.2% in June, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Standard & Poor's MMS, a unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Excluding food and energy, core prices likely increased 0.2% as well. In May, total prices rose 0.3%, while core prices increased 0.2%. Overall consumer inflation should remain below 2% this year, but core inflation so far in 1998 is picking up from its 2.2% pace in 1997.


Tuesday, July 14, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Retail sales probably edged up 0.1% in June, says the S&P MMS forecast. Excluding vehicle purchases, sales probably increased 0.2%. Store receipts rose at a much stronger pace in May: Total sales jumped 0.9%, while nonauto purchases advanced by 0.4%.


Wednesday, July 15, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Inventories held by manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers most likely edged up 0.2% in May, the same small gain as in April. Factories already have reported a slim 0.1% rise in stock levels. Business sales probably rose 0.2% in May, after falling 0.1% in April. Inventory growth was a large contributor to economic growth in the first quarter, but stock levels probably grew more slowly in the second quarter.


Thursday, July 16, 9:15 a.m.EDT -- Industrial output probably fell 0.4% in June after rising 0.5% in May, says the S&P MMS median forecast. That's suggested by a drop in factory jobs as well as by production lost in the strike at General Motors Corp. Operating rates most likely averaged 81.6% in June, down from 82.2% in May.


Friday, July 17, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- The foreign trade deficit for goods and services in May probably changed little from the $14.5 billion posted in April. Exports, which fell 2.6% in April, probably rebounded in May, as did imports, which slipped 0.9% in April.

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