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US Data: Highlights of MNI Survey of Economic Forecasts

     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.         
ISM Non-manufacturing Index for December 
 Monday, January 7 at 10:00 a.m. ET                      Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Dec18  Nov18  Oct18
 ISM NMI         58.0     57.0 to 60.3                  --   60.7   60.3
     Comments: The ISM nonmanufacturing index is expected to fall to a 
reading of 58.0 in December after rising slightly to 60.7 in November. 
The Philadelphia nonmanufacturing index dropped to 3.9 from 43.3 in 
November and the Dallas nonmanufacturing reading fell to -5.0 from 11.4. 
The Markit Services index slipped to 54.4 from 54.7 in November. 
Factory Orders for November (percent change)                             
 Monday, January 7 at 10:00 a.m. ET                      Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Nov18  Oct18  Sep18  
 New Orders     +0.5%    +0.5% to +0.5%                 --  -2.1%  +0.2%
 Ex Transport    --         -- to --                    --  +0.3%  +0.1%
     Comments: Factory orders are expected to rise by 0.5% in November. 
Durable goods orders rose by 0.8% in the month on a rise in aircraft 
orders, while nondurables orders are expected to fall on soft energy 
prices. Durable orders excluding transportation were down 0.3%, so 
total factory orders excluding transportation are expected to decline. 
Trade in Goods and Services for November (deficit, billion $)           
 Tuesday, January 8 at 8:30 a.m. ET                    Actual:        
               Median         Range                Nov18   Oct18   Sep18
 Trade Gap     -$52.9   -$54.0 to -$51.8              -- -$55.5b -$54.6b
     Comments: The international trade gap is expected to narrow to 
$52.9 billion in November from $55.5 billion in October. 
Consumer Credit for November (dollar change, billions)                   
 Tuesday, January 8 at 3:00 p.m. ET                      Actual:        
              Median        Range                  Nov18   Oct18   Sep18
 Cons Cred    +$20.0  +$20.0 to +$20.0                -- +$25.4b +$11.6b
     Comments: Consumer credit is expected to rise by $20.0 billion in 
November after a $25.4 billion gain in October. Retail sales were up
0.2% in November overall and still up 0.2% excluding a 0.2% rise in 
motor vehicle sales, suggesting consumer credit growth accelerated. 
Weekly Jobless Claims for January 5 week                                
 Thursday, January 10 at 8:30 a.m. ET                     Actual:       
               Median         Range                   Jan5  Dec29  Dec22
 Weekly Claims   215k     215k to 215k                  --   231k   221k
     Comments: The level of initial jobless claims is expected to fall 
to 215,000 in the January 5 week after an increase of 10,000 to 231,000 
level in the previous week. The prevalence of holidays in December make 
seasonal adjustment difficult at the end of the year. The four-week 
moving average would rise in the coming week as the 206,000 level in the 
December 8 week rolls out of the calculation, assuming the MNI forecast 
is correct and there are no revisions. 
Consumer Price Index for December (percent change)                       
 Friday, January 11 at 8:30 a.m. ET                      Actual:        
              Median         Range                   Dec18  Nov18  Oct18
 CPI           -0.2%    -0.2% to Flat                   --   Flat  +0.3% 
 CPI Core      +0.2%    +0.1% to +0.2%                  --  +0.2%  +0.2%
     Comments: The CPI is expected to fall 0.2% in December after a flat 
reading in November. A further decline in gasoline prices, as evidenced 
by the monthly AAA data, will be the key factor. The core CPI is 
forecast to rise 0.2% following a 0.2% gain in the previous month. 
Treasury Statement for December ($ billions)                           
 Friday, January 11 at 2:00 p.m ET                       Actual:        
             Median           Range              Dec18    Nov18    Nov17
 Balance        --          -- to --                -- -$204.9b  -$23.3b
     Comments: The US Treasury budget gap in December is expected to be 
narrower than in November. There was a $23.2 billion gain in December 
2017. December 1 was a Saturday in the current year, so some outlays 
shifted into November. The result was a wider gap in November and an 
expected smaller gap in December.
--MNI Washington Bureau; +1 (973) 494-2611; email:

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