The Week Ahead


Tuesday, Dec. 14, 8:30 a.m.EST

Retail sales probably increased a strong 0.5% in November, says the median forecast of economists surveyed by Standard & Poor's MMS, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Excluding vehicle sales, store buying probably rose 0.4% last month. In October, total retail receipts were flat, but excluding autos, they rose 0.5%.


Tuesday, Dec. 14, 8:30 a.m.EST

Consumer prices for all goods and services likely edged up by 0.2% in November, the same mild gain posted in October, says the S&P MMS forecast. Likewise, the core index, which excludes food and energy prices, was probably up 0.2% last month, a repeat of its rise in October.


Wednesday, Dec. 15, 8:30 a.m.EST

Inventories held by manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers likely grew 0.4% in October. Factories have already reported a 0.3% inventory gain. In September, business stockpiles rose 0.4%.


Wednesday, Dec. 15, 9:15 a.m.EST

Output by factories, mines, and utilities likely increased 0.2% in November, after a large 0.7% advance in October. The average operating rate probably remained at October's 80.7%.


Thursday, Dec. 16, 8:30 a.m.EST

The U.S. trade deficit for goods and services in October likely was unchanged from September's large $24.4 billion level, says the S&P MMS median forecast. Both exports and imports are expected to be little changed from their September levels. In September, exports fell 0.9%, while imports were up 0.1%, the ninth consecutive increase.