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The Week Ahead


Business Week Index

THE WEEK AHEAD

PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS

Tuesday, Aug. 12, 10 a.m. EDT -- Output per hour worked at nonfarm businesses

probably grew by a small 0.5% annual rate in the second quarter. That would be

quite a bit less than the 2.6% gain in the first. If so, nonfarm unit labor

costs probably rose 2.5% in the second quarter, the same large advance posted

in the first quarter.

RETAIL SALES

Wednesday, Aug. 13, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Retail sales probably increased by 0.4% in

July on top of a 0.5% gain in June, according to the median forecast of

economists surveyed by MMS International, one of The McGraw-Hill Companies. The

gain is suggested by weekly surveys of retail chains. Excluding cars, store

sales likely rose 0.4% last month after a 0.3% increase in June.

PRODUCER PRICE INDEX

Wednesday, Aug. 13, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Producer prices for finished goods likely

edged up just 0.1% in July, following a 0.1% drop in June. Excluding food and

energy prices, the core rate also likely rose 0.1% in July as it did in June.

BUSINESS INVENTORIES

Thursday, Aug. 14, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Inventories held by factories, wholesalers,

and retailers probably rose 0.3% in June, after growing 0.2% in May.

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX

Thursday, Aug. 14, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Consumer prices of goods and services

likely rose 0.2% in July, says the MMS survey. Core prices probably were also

up 0.2% last month. In June, both the total price index and the core index

increased just 0.1%.

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

Thursday, Aug. 14, 9:15 a.m. EDT -- Output at the nation's factories, mines,

and utilities likely rose just 0.2% in July, on top of a 0.3% increase in June.

A strike and retooling in the auto industry held back overall production gains.

As a result, the average operating rate for all industry in July likely

remained at June's 83.5%.


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