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US Data: Highlights of MNI Survey of Economic Forecasts

Repeats Story Initially Transmitted at 20:06 GMT Jan 12/15:06 EST Jan 12
     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.   
Empire State Index for January (diffusion index)                        
 Tuesday, January 16 at 8:30 a.m. ET                     Actual:        
                 Median        Range                 Jan18  Dec17  Nov17
 Empire Index      18.0      16.0 to 22.0               --   18.0   19.4
     Comments: The Empire State index is expected to hold steady after  
at 18.0 after falling to that point in the previous month               
Industrial Production for December (percent change)                     
 Wednesday, January 17 at 9:15 a.m. ET                   Actual:        
              Median          Range                  Dec17  Nov17  Oct17
 Ind Prod      +0.3%    +0.1% to +0.8%                  --  +0.2%  +1.2%
 Cap Util      77.3%    77.2% to 77.6%                  --  77.1%  77.0%
     Comments: Industrial production is expected to rise by 0.3% in     
December after a 0.2% gain in the previous month. Factory payrolls rose 
by 25,000 in December, while auto production jobs rose by 1,000.        
However, the factory workweek was fell to 40.8 hours from 40.9 hours in 
November. The ISM production index rose to 65.8 in the current month    
from 63.9 in the previous month. Utilities production is expected to    
remain soft in the month after a 1.9% November decline, though with an  
upside risk since weather was more seasonal. Mining production is       
forecast to rise further after posting a 2.0% surge. Capacity           
utilization is forecast to tick up to 77.3% from 77.1% in November.     
Weekly Jobless Claims for January 13 week                               
 Thursday, January 18 at 8:30 a.m. ET                     Actual:       
                 Median         Range                Jan14  Jan06  Dec30
 Weekly Claims     251k      245k to 254k                --  261k   250k
     Comments: The level of initial jobless claims is expected to fall  
by 10,000 to 251,000 in the January 13 employment survey week, almost   
reversing the 11,000 gain in the previous week, which marked a third    
straight increase. Claims were at level of 245,000 in December 16       
employment survey week. The four-week moving average would rise by 1,500
in the coming week, as the 245,000 level in the December 16 week drops  
out of the calculation, assuming the MNI forecast is correct and there  
are no revisions.                                                       
Housing Starts for December (annual rate, million)                      
 Thursday, January 18 at 8:30 a.m. ET                    Actual:        
           Median            Range                   Dec17  Nov17  Oct17
 Starts    1.275m       1.230m to 1.318m                -- 1.297m 1.256m
     Comments: The seasonally adjusted pace of housing starts is        
expected to slow to a 1.275 million annual rate in December after       
another sharp increase in November. The NAHB index rose sharply in      
December, a positive for the housing starts data to remain on a         
generally upward trend.                                                 
Philadelphia Federal Reserve Index for January (diffusion index)        
 Thursday, January 18 at 8:30 a.m. ET                    Actual:        
             Median         Range                    Jan18  Dec17  Nov17
 Phila Fed     24.5     23.0 to 31.8                    --   27.9   24.3
     Comments: The Philadelphia Fed reading is forecast to dip to a     
reading of 24.5 after rising to a revised 27.9 in the previous month.   
University of Michigan Survey for January (preliminary)                 
 Friday, January 18 at 10:00 a.m. ET                     Actual:        
                Median           Range              Jan18p  Dec17  Nov17
 Consumer Sent    97.0       94.0 to 98.0            --   95.9   98.5   
     Comments: The Michigan Sentiment index is expected to partially    
rebound to a reading of 97.0 in early-January from 95.9 in December.    
--MNI Washington Bureau; +1 202-371-2121; email: holly.stokes@marketnews.com

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