Magazine

The Week Ahead


EXPORT-IMPORT PRICES

Thursday, Apr. 11, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Import prices in March probably rose 0.4%, after inching 0.1% lower through February. That's based on the median forecast of economists surveyed by Standard & Poor's MMS, a unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies. March export prices are forecast to have fallen 0.2% for a second straight month.

INITIAL UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS

Thursday, Apr. 11, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- New filings for state unemployment benefits are forecast to have reached 380,000 for the week ended Apr. 6. The four-week average most likely fell slightly, after rising to 383,500 in later March. New claims are down from late 2001, but they are still high enough to indicate some weakening is still occurring, largely in manufacturing. Typically, changes in employment lag behind the economy as a whole.

RETAIL SALES

Friday, Apr. 12, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Retail sales in March probably rose 0.4%, after a 0.3% gain in February, due to continued strength in auto sales. In March, sales excluding vehicles are also expected to have increased 0.4%.

PRODUCER PRICE INDEX

Friday, Apr. 12, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Producer prices of finished goods probably jumped 0.5% during March, after a 0.2% increase in February. Excluding food and energy, core prices probably rose a smaller 0.2%, after remaining unchanged in February. U.S. crude oil prices surged more than 20% through March.


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