The Week Ahead

PRODUCTIVITY & COSTS

Tuesday, May 7, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Output per hour worked in the first quarter probably rose to an annual rate of 5.8%, and unit labor costs very likely slipped 2%. That's based on the median forecast of economists surveyed by Standard & Poor's MMS, a unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies. In the fourth quarter, productivity rose 5.2% while unit labor costs fell 2.7%.

FOMC MEETING

Tuesday, May 7, 9 a.m. EDT -- The Federal Reserve Board's Open Market Committee will meet to set monetary policy. Economists polled by S&P's MMS unanimously expect the Fed to hold the federal funds rate steady, at 1.75%.

INSTALLMENT CREDIT

Tuesday, May 7, 3 p.m. EDT -- Consumers are expected to have added $5.3 billion of new debt during March. In February, consumer debt grew by $7 billion.

EXPORT-IMPORT PRICES

Thursday, May 9, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Import prices in April probably increased 0.7%, after a 1.1% jump in March. Export prices most likely inched 0.2% higher in April, following a 0.3% gain in March.

PRODUCER PRICE INDEX

Friday, May 10, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Producer prices of finished goods in April are forecast to have risen 0.5%, after a 1% jump in March. Excluding food and energy, core prices probably rose by a smaller 0.1% for a second straight month. Higher fuel prices are driving the top-line increases.

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