The Week Ahead


Monday, Oct. 7, 3 p.m. EDT -- Consumers are forecast to have taken on an additional $9.8 billion of new debt in August. That's based on the median prediction of economists surveyed by MMS International. In July, consumer debt rose by $10.8 billion. The accumulation of nonrevolving debt slowed in July, despite continued interest-free financing programs for vehicles. Revolving debt, consisting largely of credit-card debt, jumped by $6.5 billion, the largest rise since November, 2001.


Thursday, Oct. 10, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Import prices in September most likely increased by 0.3% for a second straight month, while export prices probably edged up 0.2%. Uncertainty over Iraq is pushing up the price of crude-oil imports. In July, petroleum prices climbed 2.1% from June. They were up 5.6% from a year ago.


Friday, Oct. 11, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Because of a fallback in auto sales, total retail sales are expected to have dropped 0.2% in September, after three strong monthly gains. Excluding vehicles, sales most likely grew by 0.3%, after increasing 0.4% in August.


Friday, Oct. 11, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Producer prices of finished goods probably rose 0.2% in September after holding steady in August. Excluding food and energy, core prices most likely increased 0.1%, after a 0.1% fall in August. So far, oil prices are having a minimal effect on overall inflation.

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