Businessweek Archives

Business Week Index: The Week Ahead


Business Week Index: THE WEEK AHEAD

BusinessWeek Index: THE WEEK AHEAD

INSTALLMENT CREDIT

Monday, Aug. 7 -- Consumers probably added about $10.5 billion in new debt in

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

of the McGraw-Hill Cos. That's suggested by the 0.7% jump in June retail sales.

Consumer borrowing has skyrocketed in 1995. In May alone, installment credit

surged $11.5 billion.

PRODUCTIVITY & COSTS

Tuesday, Aug. 8, 10 a.m. -- Productivity in the nonfarm sector likely grew at

an annual rate of about 1.5% in the second quarter. Although the increase in

output was small, hours worked in the nonfarm sector fell by more than 1%, at

an annual rate. Once again, the biggest productivity boost probably came in the

manufacturing sector, where output per hour jumped at a 3.2% pace in the first

quarter. Nonfarm unit labor costs likely grew by less than 1% last quarter,

after advancing by a small 1.4% in the first. Factory unit labor costs may have

fallen, after rising 1.1%.

PRODUCER PRICE INDEX

Thursday, Aug. 10, 8:30 a.m. -- The MMS survey forecasts that producer prices

of finished goods were unchanged in July, after slipping 0.1% in June.

Excluding food and energy, the PPI probably rose 0.2% in July, the same gain

posted in June.

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX

Friday, Aug. 11, 8:30 a.m. -- Consumer prices likely edged up 0.2% in July,

after a puny 0.1% gain in June. Excluding food and energy, prices probably also

rose 0.2% in July, the same as in June. A new flurry of auto incentives offset

price gains elsewhere. Yearly inflation remains at about 3%.

RETAIL SALES

Friday, Aug. 11, 8:30 a.m. -- Retail sales probably rose 0.5% in July after

increasing 0.7% in June, says the MMS report. That's suggested by the weekly

survey of retailers. The heat wave across the Midwest and East caused a swell

of demand for hot-weather-related items, such as air conditioners.


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