The Week Ahead
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 8:30 a.m. EST -- Retail sales in January probably remained unchanged, based on the median forecast of economists surveyed by Standard & Poor's MMS, a unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Excluding vehicles, January sales likely rose 0.3%, after slipping 0.1% in December. Vehicle sales have fallen off with the rollback of manufacturer incentives.
Thursday, Feb. 14, 8:30 a.m. EST -- Inventories are forecast to have shrunk by 0.5% during December, after falling 1% in November. In early 2002, inventories are likely to fall at a slower clip or even grow in some industries after a record liquidation of $120 billion during the fourth quarter.
Thursday, Feb. 14, 8:30 a.m. EST -- Import prices probably fell 0.4%, and export prices probably slipped 0.2% during January. December import prices dropped 0.9%, and export prices inched lower by 0.2%.
PRODUCER PRICE INDEX
Friday, Feb. 15, 8:30 a.m. EST -- Producer prices of finished goods probably rose 0.1% in January after a 0.7% drop in December. Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core prices probably rose 0.1%, after declining 0.1% in December.
Friday, Feb. 15, 9:15 a.m. EST -- Factory output in January probably decreased 0.1% for a second straight month, while the capacity utilization rate likely fell to 74.2%.