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The Week Ahead


Business Week Index: THE WEEK AHEAD

THE WEEK AHEAD

RETAIL SALES

Tuesday, Nov. 14, 8:30 a.m. -- Retail sales rose a mere 0.1% in October,

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

of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Sales rose 0.3% in September. Excluding autos,

October receipts likely also rose 0.1%, after a 0.7% jump in September.

FOMC MEETING

Wednesday, Nov. 15 -- The MMS forecast is for no change in monetary policy

during this meeting of the Federal Reserve Board's Federal Open Market

Committee. That means that the federal funds rate will remain at 5.75%.

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX

Wednesday, Nov. 15, 8:30 a.m. -- Inflation continues at a mild pace. Consumer

prices probably rose 0.2% in October, after edging up 0.1% in September.

Excluding food and energy, core prices likely rose 0.2% last month, the same

increase as in each of the previous five months.

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

Wednesday, Nov. 15, 9:15 a.m. -- The MMS forecast is that industrial

production fell 0.2% in October, on top of a 0.2% drop in September. That's

suggested by the decline in total hours worked in the factory sector. As a

result, operating rates for all industry slipped to 83.5% in October, from

83.8%.

BUSINESS INVENTORIES

Wednesday, Nov. 15, 10 a.m. -- Inventories held by manufacturers,

wholesalers, and retailers probably rose 0.4% in September, the same gain as in

August. Factory inventories rose 0.6% in September, while wholesale stock

levels were down 0.2%. Business sales likely rose 0.4% in September, much less

than the 1.5% jump in August. That's suggested by the weak sales reported by

retailers and manufacturers.

HOUSING STARTS

Friday, Nov. 17, 8:30 a.m. -- Housing starts probably stood at an annual rate

of 1.4 million in October, unchanged from September's pace, says the MMS report.


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