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The Week Ahead


Business Week Index

THE WEEK AHEAD

RETAIL SALES

Tuesday, Aug. 13, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Retail sales likely slipped 0.1% in July

following a 0.2% dip in June, says the median forecast of economists surveyed

by MMS International, one of The McGraw-Hill Companies. However, given the weak

reports from car dealers and other retailers, even the small decline may by too

optimistic. Excluding cars, store sales likely rose 0.2% in July, after

advancing 0.1% in June.

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX

Tuesday, Aug. 13, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- The July CPI likely increased 0.2% for all

items and for the core rate, which excludes food and energy prices, says the

MMS report. In June, all prices rose a mere 0.1%, and core prices edged up 0.2%.

BUSINESS INVENTORIES

Wednesday, Aug. 14, 10 a.m.EDT -- Inventories held by manufacturers, retailers,

and wholesalers likely rose 0.2% in June. Stock levels fell 0.1% in May.

PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS

Wednesday, Aug. 14, 10 a.m.EDT -- Output per hour worked in the nonfarm sector

probably fell at an annual rate of about 0.5% in the second quarter, partly

reversing a 2.1% gain in the first. If so, then unit labor costs likely grew

about 3.5%, after rising 1.1% in the first quarter.

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

Thursday, Aug. 15, 9:15 a.m.EDT -- Output at the nation's factories, mines, and

utilities probably dropped 0.2% in July, after jumping 0.5% in June, forecasts

the MMS report. That's suggested by the declines in manufacturing payrolls and

workweek. The average operating rate for all industries likely slipped to 82.9%

last month, from 83.2% in June.

HOUSING STARTS

Friday, Aug. 16, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Housing starts likely fell to an annual rate

of 1.45 million in July, forecasts the MMS report. June starts had risen an

unexpected 1.3%, to a 1.48 million pace.


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