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Business Week Index: The Week Ahead


Business Week Index: THE WEEK AHEAD

BusinessWeek Index: THE WEEK AHEAD

RETAIL SALES

Tuesday, June 13, 8:30 a.m. -- Retail sales probably rose 0.5% in May, says the

median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, one of the

McGraw-Hill Cos. That's suggested by the rebound in motor vehicles sales and

the positive reports from major retailers. In April, sales took an unexpected

drop of 0.4%, as purchases of durable goods fell 1.5%.

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX

Tuesday, June 13, 8:30 a.m. -- Consumer prices likely grew by 0.3% in May,

after increasing 0.4% in April. Transportation costs--from auto-financing

charges to airline tickets--were up strongly in March and April, but their

gains probably moderated in May. Excluding food and energy, May core prices are

also expected to rise 0.3%, after a 0.4% advance in April.

BUSINESS INVENTORIES

Wednesday, June 14, 10 a.m. -- Inventories at manufacturers, wholesalers, and

retailers likely grew 0.7% in April, the same hefty increase as in March.

Factories and wholesalers have already reported large rises in their stock

levels. The expected increase suggests that businesses have not adjusted their

inventories to fall into better alignment with sales. Indeed, business sales

probably fell by 0.6% in April, after no change in March.

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

Thursday, June 15, 9:15 a.m. -- Output at factories, mines, and utilities

probably fell another steep 0.4% in May, on top of a 0.3% drop in April. That's

suggested by the decline in factory jobs and overtime. Auto makers are leading

the cutbacks in spring production. Motor vehicle output alone fell 4.3% in

April. Given the output drop, the average capacity utilization rate for all

industry likely dipped to 83.7% in May, from 84.1%. With production dropping

off so fiercely, economists are predicting little growth in the second quarter.

The MMS survey shows a median forecast of only 1% growth in the real gross

domestic product in the second quarter.


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