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     WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following are highlights of forecasts for   
upcoming U.S. economic indicators provided by participants in the MNI   
weekly survey. The comment section presents the key elements behind the 
median forecasts.           
     
Retail and Food Sales for July (percent change)                         
 Tuesday, August 15 at 8:30 a.m. ET                      Actual:        
               Median       Range                    Jul17  Jun17  May17
 Retail Sales   +0.3%    +0.2% to +1.0%                 --  -0.2%  -0.1%
 Ex-Mtr Veh     +0.3%    +0.1% to +1.0%                 --  -0.2%  -0.3%
                                                                        
     Comments: Retail sales are forecast to rise 0.3% in July after a   
0.2% decline in June. Seasonally adjusted industry motor vehicle sales  
rose modestly in July, while AAA reported that gasoline prices pulled   
back further in mid-July compared with one month earlier. Retail sales  
are expected to rise 0.3% excluding motor vehicles after June's 0.2%    
decline and analysts see a strong reading for the control group after   
recent soft gains.                                                      
                                                                        
Empire State Index for August (diffusion index)                         
 Tuesday, August 15 at 8:30 a.m. ET                      Actual:        
                 Median        Range                 Aug17  Jul17  Jun17
 Empire Index      10.0     8.0 to 15.0                 --    9.8   19.8
                                                                        
     Comments: The Empire State index is expected to rise to a reading  
of 10.0 in August after dipping to 9.8 in July.                         
                                                                        
Business Inventories for June (percent change)                          
 Tuesday, August 15 at 10:00 a.m. ET                     Actual:        
              Median         Range                   Jun17  May17  Apr17
 Inventories   +0.5%     +0.4% to +0.5%                 --  +0.3%  -0.2%
                                                                        
     Comments: Business inventories are expected to rise 0.5% in June.  
Factory inventories were already reported as up 0.2% in the month, while
wholesale inventories rose 0.7% and the advance report pointed to a 0.6%
rise for retail inventories. Taken together, an MNI calculation looks   
for a 0.5% increase for business inventories. As for sales, factory     
shipments were down 0.2% and wholesale sales rose 0.7%, while retail    
trade sales fell 0.1% in the advance retail sales report. An MNI        
calculation looks for a 0.2% increase in business sales, barring a large
revision to the retail trade sales number.                              
                                                                        
Housing Starts for July (annual rate, million)                          
 Wednesday, August 16 at 8:30 a.m. ET                    Actual:        
           Median           Range                   Jul17  Jun17  May17 
 Starts    1.220m      1.190m to 1.250m                 -- 1.215m 1.122m
                                                                        
     Comments: The seasonally adjusted pace of housing starts is        
expected to accelerate to a 1.220 million annual rate in July after a   
large increase in June. A jump in June building permits provides some   
upside risk. Total starts were up 4.7% year/year before seasonal        
adjustment in June, while permits were up 6.6%, but it remains to be    
seen if that pace can be maintained.                                    
                                                                        
Weekly Jobless Claims for August 12 week                                
 Thursday, August 17 at 8:30 a.m. ET                     Actual:        
                 Median         Range                Aug12  Aug05  Jul29
 Weekly Claims     240k     235k to 245k                --   244k   241k
                                                                        
     Comments: The level of initial jobless claims is expected to fall  
by 4,000 to 240,000 in the August 12 employment survey week after a     
3,000 increase in the previous week. Claims were at a level of 234,000  
in the July 15 employment survey week. The four-week moving average,    
which has declined in the last two weeks, would rise by 1,500 in the    
coming week as the 234,000 level in the July 15 week drops out of the   
drops out of the calculation, assuming the MNI forecast is correct and  
there are no revisions.                                                 
                                                                        
Philadelphia Federal Reserve Index for August (diffusion index)         
 Thursday, August 17 at 8:30 a.m. ET                       Actual:      
             Median         Range                    Aug17  Jul17  Jun17
 Phila Fed     19.2     10.0 to 25.0                    --   19.5   27.6
                                                                        
     Comments: The Philadelphia Fed index is forecast to slide very     
modestly to a reading of 19.2 in August following the declines in June  
and July.                                                               
                                                                        
Industrial Production for July (percent change)                         
 Thursday, August 17 at 9:15 a.m. ET                     Actual:        
              Median         Range                   Jul17  Jun17  May17
 Ind Prod      +0.3%    +0.1% to +0.5%                  --  +0.4%  +0.1%
 Cap Util      76.7%    76.6% to 76.9%                  --  76.6%  76.4%
                                                                        
     Comments: Industrial production is expected to rise 0.3% in July   
after a 0.4% gain in the previous month. Factory payrolls rose by 16,000
in July, while auto production jobs up 2,000 and the factory workweek   
was steady at 40.9 hours. The ISM production index fell to 60.6 in July 
from 62.4 in the previous month. Utilities production is expected to    
rebound in the month after a flat June reading, while mining production 
is forecast to post another increase. Capacity utilization is forecast  
to rise modestly to 76.7% from 76.6% in June.                           
                                                                        
Leading Indicators for July (percent change)                            
 Thursday, August 17 at 10:00 a.m. ET                    Actual:        
                 Median         Range                Jul17  Jun17  May17
 Leading Index    +0.3%     +0.2% to +0.3%              --  +0.6%  +0.2%
                                                                        
     Comments: The index of leading indicators is forecast to rise by   
only 0.3% in July after jumping by 0.6% in June. The rate spread should 
be a significant positive factor this month, with other positive        
contributions from falling jobless claims, higher stock prices, and a   
rise in consumer expectations.                                          
                                                                        
University of Michigan Survey for August (preliminary)                  
 Friday, August 18 at 10:00 a.m. ET                      Actual:        
                Median        Range                 Aug17p  Jul17  Jun17
 Consumer Sent    94.0     93.0 to 96.0                 --   93.4   95.1
                                                                        
     Comments: The University of Michigan Sentiment index is expected to
move up to 94.0 in early-August from 93.4 in July.                      
                    ** MNI Washington Bureau (202) 371-2121 **               
                                                 
--MNI Washington Bureau; +1 202-371-2121; email: holly.stokes@marketnews.com
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