The Week Ahead
Tuesday, Apr. 13, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Retail sales likely increased 0.3% in March after a 0.9% surge in February, says the median forecast of economists surveyed by Standard & Poor's MMS, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Excluding vehicles sales, store receipts probably rose 0.4% in March, after February's 0.6% gain. Real consumer spending appears to have grown at an annual rate of around 5% in the first quarter.
CONSUMER PRICE INDEX
Tuesday, Apr. 13, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Consumer prices for all goods and services probably edged up 0.3% in March, led by higher energy prices. Excluding volatile food and energy costs, core prices likely rose 0.2%. In February, both the total price index and the core index advanced by 0.1%.
Wednesday, Apr. 14, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Inventories held by manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers probably rose 0.1% in February, says the S&P MMS survey. That's the same small gain posted in January. Business sales likely grew 0.5% in February, after slipping 0.3% in January.
Friday, Apr. 16, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Housing starts in March probably totaled 1.74 million, at an annual rate, down from their 1.8 million pace in an unseasonably warm February. The decline is suggested by the drop in construction jobs last month.
Friday, Apr. 16, 9:15 a.m. EDT -- Output at factories, mines, and utilities probably rose 0.3% in March, forecasts the S&P MMS survey, following a 0.2% increase in February. Utility output likely rebounded after falling 0.5% in February. Factory output was probably unchanged, as suggested by the weakness in payrolls. Despite the anticipated increase in output, the average operating rate for all industry is expected to remain at February's 80.3% reading.