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Business Week Index: The Week Ahead


Business Week Index: THE WEEK AHEAD

BusinessWeek Index: THE WEEK AHEAD

RETAIL SALES

Tuesday, Feb. 14, 8:30 a.m. January retail sales are expected to show a slim

0.1% gain, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS

International, a unit of McGraw-Hill Inc., mainly reflecting weaker-looking

auto sales caused by a change in Detroit's reporting dates. Nonauto sales

should be up a stronger 0.7%.

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX

Wednesday, Feb. 15, 8:30 a.m. The January CPI will show a 0.2% increase, say

the economists, the same as in December. The core index, which excludes energy

and food will also be up 0.2%, after the previous month's 0.1% rise.

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

Wednesday, Feb. 15, 9:15 a.m. January industrial output at the nation's

factories, utilities, and mines is expected to post a 0.4% increase, says the

survey, following December's 1% gain. Capacity utilization will edge up a tenth

of a point, to 85.5%, from December's 15-year high.

BUSINESS INVENTORIES

Wednesday, Feb. 15, 10 a.m. December inventories in manufacturing,

wholesaling, and retailing most likely increased by 0.5%, say the forecasters,

following November's 0.7% gain. Stock levels have risen sharply in recent

months, but overall sales have been sturdy as well.

HOUSING STARTS

Thursday, Feb. 16, 8:30 a.m. Despite January's unusually mild weather, higher

mortgage rates are expected to take a toll on the month's housing starts. The

economists look for starts to fall by 4.3%, after December's 1% drop. Sales of

new homes are softening, and based on current sales rates, the one-month supply

of unsold homes stood near a four-year high in December.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Friday, Feb. 17, 8:30 a.m. The economists project that December's trade deficit

for goods and services will narrow slightly to $10.4 billion, after having

widened to $10.5 billion in November.


Later, Baby
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