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Business Week Index: The Week Ahead


Business Week Index: THE WEEK AHEAD

BusinessWeek Index: THE WEEK AHEAD

INSTALLMENT DEBT

Monday, Jan. 9 -- Consumers are expected to have added a hefty $12

billion to their installment debt in November, following October's increase of

$11.6 billion. That's the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS

International, a unit of McGraw-Hill Inc. Revolving credit should account for a

big chunk of the increase. Both MasterCard International Inc. and Visa USA Inc.

reported sharp increases in card activity vs. a year ago.

PRODUCER PRICE INDEX

Tuesday, Jan. 10, 8:30 a.m. -- The MMS economists look for the December

producer price index to rise by 0.2%, after November's 0.5% jump. The core

index, which excludes the volatile energy and food sectors, is expected to

increase 0.2% as well.

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX

Wednesday, Jan. 11, 8:30 a.m. -- The December consumer price index is

expected to rise by 0.3%, says the median forecast, the same as in November.

The core index should post a 0.3% increase as well. Price resistance by

consumers is the chief reason why many producers cannot pass along their higher

costs. Consumer inflation will end 1994 at about 2.7%, the third consecutive

year that inflation has been below 3%.

RETAIL SALES

Friday, Jan. 13, 8:30 a.m. -- Retail sales in December are expected to have

increased by 0.6%, following November's 1.2% gain. Excluding car sales, buying

is projected to have been up by 0.5%. If the forecasters are right, real retail

sales in the fourth quarter appear to have registered the strongest quarterly

advance in eight years, and that includes the superstrong showings in the final

quarters of both 1992 and 1993.


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