The Week Ahead


Wednesday, Oct. 14, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Retail buying likely increased by 0.4% in September, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Standard & Poor's MMS, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Excluding purchases of motor vehicles, retail sales probably increased by 0.3%. In August, overall store receipts rose a small 0.2%, and nonauto sales increased by 0.3%.


Thursday, Oct. 15, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Producer prices of finished goods were probably unchanged in September, after falling 0.4% in August, says the S&P MMS forecast. Excluding food and energy, core prices were probably down 0.1% last month, following a 0.1% dip in August.


Thursday, Oct. 15, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Inventories held by manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers probably grew by a small 0.2% in August, after showing no growth since April. Factories have already reported a 0.2% rise in their stock levels. Business sales likely increased 0.3% in August, after falling 0.1% in July.


Friday, Oct. 16, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Consumer prices of all goods and services probably rose 0.1% in September, says the median S&P MMS forecast. Excluding food and energy, core prices probably rose 0.2%. In August, the total price index and the core index each increased 0.2%.


Friday, Oct. 16, 9:15 a.m. EDT -- Industrial output probably rose by 0.1% in September, after jumping 1.7% in August when auto production recovered sharply from the General Motors Corp. strike. The flat September reading is suggested by the weakness in the month's factory jobs and workweek. On average, industries probably used 81.5% of their capacity in September, down from 81.7% in August.

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