The Week Ahead

RETAIL SALES

Thursday, May 11, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Retail sales probably increased by a modest 0.3% in April, says the median forecast of economists surveyed by Standard & Poor's MMS, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Excluding car buying, sales are also expected to rise 0.3%. In March, total store receipts grew 0.4%, but excluding cars, they shot up 1.4%. The question for economists is whether a more modest advance in April signals a lasting slowdown in consumer spending, or if the pause is only temporary.

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