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The Week Ahead


Business Week Index

THE WEEK AHEAD

PRODUCER PRICE INDEX

Tuesday, Sept. 12, 8:30 a.m. -- Producer prices of finished goods probably rose

by 0.2% in August, says the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS

International, one of the McGraw-Hill Cos. If so, that would be the first

increase in prices since April. Producer prices were unchanged in July.

Excluding the volatile food and energy sectors, prices likely rose 0.2% in

August, the same as in July.

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX

Wednesday, Sept. 13, 8:30 a.m. -- Consumer prices for all items and prices,

excluding food and energy, likely increased 0.2% in August, says the MMS

survey. Both the total price index and the core rate rose by 0.2% in July. Weak

apparel prices and cuts in car prices because of dealer incentives probably

offset gains in prices of other goods and services. Consumer inflation remains

on track to rise about 3% in 1995, the same mild pace as in 1994.

RETAIL SALES

Thursday, Sept. 14, 8:30 a.m. -- Retail sales probably rose a modest 0.3% in

August, after falling 0.1% in July. Motor- vehicle purchases were strong,

thanks to rebates and other incentives, but many major retail chains reported

weak sales. That's partly because the warm weather deterred people from buying

cool-weather, back-to-school clothing. Excluding cars, retail sales probably

rose by 0.2% in August, on top of a 0.2% gain in July.

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

Friday, Sept. 15, 9:15 a.m. -- Output at the nation's factories, mines, and

utilities probably rose 0.4% in August, forecasts the MMS report. That's

suggested by the small gain in factory jobs and the increase in the workweek,

including overtime. In July, industrial production rose 0.1% as the heat wave

pushed up utility use by 3.6%. Factory output fell 0.2% in July, led by a steep

decline in auto production. Operating rates for all industry likely inched up

to 83.6% last month, from 83.4% in July.


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