The Week Ahead

BUSINESS INVENTORIES

Monday, Oct. 15, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Inventories in August likely fell by 0.3%, after sliding 0.4% in July. That's based on the median forecast of economists surveyed by Standard & Poor's MMS, a unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Despite major efforts to trim down inventories, the deteriorating economy will likely require further reductions.

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

Tuesday, Oct. 16, 9:15 a.m. EDT -- Factory output probably declined 0.7% in September, while capacity utilization probably declined for the 13th straight month, to 75.6%. In August, output dropped 0.8%, with a utilization rate of 76.2%.

NEW RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION

Wednesday, Oct. 17, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Housing starts in September are forecast to fall to an annual rate of 1.5 million, after dropping to 1.53 million in August.

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX

Friday, Oct. 19, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Consumer prices for goods and services probably rose 0.2% in September, after posting a 0.1% gain in August. Core prices, excluding the more volatile food and energy components, are projected to rise by a similar 0.2%, after rising 0.2% in August.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Friday, Oct. 19, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- The trade deficit probably narrowed slightly in August, to $28.1 billion, from $28.8 billion in July. Once again, imports are projected to decline at a faster clip than exports.

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