By Kathleen MadiganEconomists expect little joy to be found in this week's flurry of reports. The weak readings will give Federal Reserve policy makers much to consider when they meet next week, on June 19 and 20.
Wednesday's retail sales report is expect to show shoppers pulled back in May. The median forecast is that total sales dropped 0.3% in May. Excluding autos, store sales likely slipped 0.1%, in part because of falling prices at gasoline stations.
Forecasters also think the industrial sector downshifted in May, though that followed a large 1.1% jump in April. Industrial production, out Friday, is expected to show a small 0.1% gain last month, and capacity use is expected to remain at 79.2%.
Two early looks at June are also on tap this week. The Empire State survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, scheduled for Friday, is expected to show weakness in June, after a strong showing in May. The business conditions index is projected to slow to 10.7 this month from 17.09 in May.
The preliminary June reading of consumer sentiment, also out Friday, is forecast to drop to 77.0 from the end-May reading of 79.3.
Economists also think falling oil prices brought down top-line inflation in May.
The producer price index, scheduled for Wednesday, is projected to have fallen 0.8% in May, while the core index, which excludes food and energy, is expected to have increased 0.2%.
The median forecast for the consumer price index, due Thursday, is for a 0.3% drop in May, with the core index up 0.2%.
DATE TIME RELEASE PERIOD CONSENSUS PREVIOUS (ET) Tuesday 0730 NFIB Small Business May 94.5 94.5 0830 Import Prices May -1.1% -0.5% 1400 Federal Budget May -$125.0B -$57.6B* Wednesday 0830 Producer Prices May -0.8% -0.2% -excl food & energy May +0.2% +0.2% 0830 Retail Sales May -0.3% +0.1% -excl autos May -0.1% +0.1% 1000 Business Inventories Apr +0.3% +0.3% Thursday 0830 Jobless Claims Jun 9 375K 377K 0830 Consumer Prices May -0.3% Unch -excl food & energy May +0.2% +0.2% 0830 Current Acct Balance 1Q -$134.0B -$124.1B Friday 0830 NY Fed Empire St Svy Jun 10.7 17.09 0915 Industrial Production May +0.1% +1.1% 0915 Capacity Utilization May 79.2% 79.2% 0955 Reuters/UMich Consumer Sentiment (prelim) Jun 77.0 79.3** *May 2011 reading **end-May reading