The Week Ahead


Thursday, Oct. 11, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Import and export prices in September are both expected to have fallen 0.2%. That's according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Standard & Poor's MMS, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies. In August, import prices slipped 0.1%, while export prices declined 0.2%.


Friday, Oct. 12, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Retail sales probably dropped 0.9% in September, after rising 0.3% in August. Excluding autos, sales likely posted a smaller 0.5% decrease, after

a 0.5% gain in August. Vehicle sales have fallen off of last year's pace and could drop even more sharply through the remainder of the year.


Friday, Oct. 12, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Producer prices of finished goods likely increased 0.2% in September, based on the S&P MMS median forecast. In August, prices jumped an unexpected 0.4%. Excluding food and energy, core prices in September probably rose 0.1%, after declining 0.1% in August. Energy prices should continue to fall as crude-oil prices have dropped nearly 20% since September 11.


Friday, Oct. 12, 10 a.m. EDT -- The University of Michigan's preliminary October index on consumer sentiment likely fell to 77, after sinking to 81.8 for the final reading in September. The forecast would put the index at its lowest level since July, 1993.

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