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WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE US

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The Week Ahead ...
The Week Ahead

13:30 Wed 16 October - Consumer Prices (Sept) Consumer prices are expect to have increased by 0.3% in September, lifting the annual rate of increase to 3.0%. Last month apparel prices fell sharply, and some rebound is expected.

13:30 Wed 16 October - Consumer Prices excluding food and energy (Sept) Consumer prices on this basis are also forecast to increase by 0.3%. This will allow the annual rate of increase to remain at 2.6%, its lowest since 1966.

13:30 Thurs 17 October - Housing Starts (Sept) Economists have been predicting weaker housing starts for several months, expecting higher mortgage rate to hit activity. The outturn for starts has been consistently higher than expectations. Not too much should be read, therefore, into their forecast for starts at an annual rate of 1.45 million in September, which implies a fall of 3.5% compared to August.

14:15 Thurs 17 October - Industrial Output (Sept) Output has been strong in recent months, with the annual rate of increase well above 3%. The fall in the NAPM index for September and the decline in employment levels, which feeds directly into the calculation of the output numbers, point to a more modest rise this month. A rise of 0.1% is expected, leaving the annual rate of increase unchanged at 3.4%.

14:15 Thurs 17 October - Capacity Use (Sept) The rate of capacity use will fall back to 83.3% if output only rose by 0.1%, assuming that there are no revisions to historical data.

13:30 Fri 18 October - International Trade (Aug) After July's huge trade deficit of $11.7bn, a more modest $9.5bn deficit is forecast for August. But expectations cover a wide range ant the outturn could be anywhere between $7bn and $12bn.

The Week Just Past

Producer prices in September rose by 0.2%, in line with expectations. The annual rate of increase was 2.9%. Food and energy prices are still the main cause of inflation pressures. Excluding these, prices rose 0.3% in September, but were only 1.4% higher than a year earlier. Higher passenger car prices were the main factor in September. Intermediate goods prices rose 0.3% month-on-month and 0.5% year-on-year. Crude goods prices were down 1.5% in the month, but rose 10.2% from a year earlier.

Retail sales in September rose by 0.7%, thanks to strong sales of autos (up 1.7%). Excluding cars sales were up only 0.4%. However, there was a downward revision to sales in August, from a rise of 0.2% to a fall of the same magnitude. This is unusual, as retail sales data in the US are typically revised up, on average by 0.5%.

Mhairi Mackelworth, AMP Asset Management.

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