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Preview | WEEK OF SEPT. 16-22

Manufacturing, Other Economic Reports Due

September 16, 2002|Bloomberg News

An economic report on U.S. industrial production is expected to show this week that a factory rebound has lost speed because companies are reluctant to add to stockpiles.

Industrial production rose 0.2% last month, a Federal Reserve report probably will show Tuesday. That would match July's gain, which was the smallest increase since April. Monthly production gains averaged 0.4% in the first half of the year.

Business inventories rose 0.2% in July, the same pace as a month earlier, as retailers keep stockpiles of unsold goods lean, the Commerce Department is expected to report today. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, is among merchants that have been trying to reduce the amount of time that goods sit on store shelves.

Consumers are spending mainly during sales, helping keep inflation in check. The consumer price index, the most widely followed gauge of U.S. inflation, probably rose 0.2% in August, matching the average increase for the first seven months of the year. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the so-called core index probably rose 0.2% as well. The Labor Department releases the report Wednesday.

A report on manufacturing in the Philadelphia region is likely to show that the factory rebound remained slow in September. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia is expected to report Thursday that its factory gauge rose to 2 this month from minus 3.1 in August.

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