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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.         
     
Consumer Price Index for January (percent change)                       
 Wednesday, February 13 at 8:30 a.m. ET                  Actual:        
              Median         Range                   Jan19  Dec18  Nov18
 CPI           +0.1%     Flat to +0.1%                  --  -0.1%   Flat 
 CPI Core      +0.2%    +0.2% to +0.2%                  --  +0.2%  +0.2%
     Comments: The CPI is expected to rise by 0.1% in January after a 
gasoline-related dip in December. A further decline in gasoline prices, 
as evidenced by the monthly AAA data, will be the key factor yet again. 
The core CPI is forecast to post another 0.2% gain. Annual revisions 
released on February 11 will be incorporated into the data. 
Treasury Statement for December ($ billions)                           
 Wednesday, February 13 at 2:00 p.m ET                     Actual:        
             Median           Range              Dec18    Nov18    Dec17
 Balance                       to                   -- -$204.9b  -$23.2b
     Comments: The US Treasury is expected to post a small budget 
deficit in December. Some outlays were shifted into November as December 
1 was a holiday. As a result, the budget gap will appear smaller without 
a calendar adjustment. The January data will be released on March 5 and 
the February data will be released on March 22. 
Weekly Jobless Claims for February 9 week                                
 Thursday, February 14 at 8:30 a.m. ET                    Actual:       
               Median         Range                  Feb09  Feb02  Jan26
 Weekly Claims                 to                       --   234k   253k
     Comments: The level of initial jobless claims is expected to fall 
further in the February 9 week after a decline of 19,000 to a 234,000 
level in the previous week, but will still not recover all the sharp 
53,000 gain in the January 26 week. The volatility in recent weeks can 
be largely attributed to seasonal adjustment issues around the holiday 
week, storms, teachers strikes, and the side effects of the government 
shutdown. The four-week moving average would rise further this week as 
the 212,000 level in the January 12 week rolls out of the calculation, 
assuming the MNI forecast is correct and there are no revisions. 
Retail and Food Sales for December (percent change)                       
 Thursday, February 14 at 8:30 a.m. ET                     Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Dec18  Nov18  Oct18
 Retail Sales    Flat     Flat to +0.1%                 --  +0.2%  +1.1%
 Ex-Mtr Veh     -0.1%    -0.2% to +0.2%                 --  +0.2%  +1.0%
     Comments: Retail sales are forecast to hold steady in December 
after a 0.2% gain in November that masked solid underlying strength. Not 
seasonally adjusted industry motor vehicle sales rose further in 
December, while AAA reported that gasoline prices fell further in 
mid-December from one month earlier. Retail sales are expected to 
decline by 0.1% excluding motor vehicles after a 0.2% gain in November 
due to weak gasoline station sales. Consumption started of strong in 
October, by waned later in the quarter. 
Producer Price Index for January (percent change)
 Thursday, February 14 at 8:30 a.m. ET                   Actual:        
                 Median         Range                Jan19  Dec18  Nov18
 Final Demand     +0.1%    +0.1% to +0.1%               --  -0.2%  +0.1% 
 Ex Food,Energy   +0.2%    +0.2% to +0.2%               --  -0.1%  +0.3%
     Comments: Final demand PPI is expected to rebound by 0.1% in 
January after a 0.2% December decrease that was due in large part to a 
sharp energy decline. Energy prices are expected to rebound modestly 
following a 5.4% December decrease, though a further dip in energy 
prices is a downside factor, while food price growth is expected to slow 
after a 2.6% gain. Excluding food and energy prices, PPI is forecast to 
rise 0.2% after a 0.1% December decrease. Annual revisions released on 
February 12 will be incorporated into the data. 
Business Inventories for November (percent change)                      
 Thursday, February 14 at 10:00 a.m. ET                  Actual:        
              Median           Range                 Nov18  Oct18  Sep18
 Inventories   +0.2%      +0.1% to +0.3%                --  +0.6%  +0.5%
     Comments: Business inventories are expected to rise by 0.2% in 
November. Factory inventories were already reported as down 0.1% in the 
month, while wholesale inventories rose 0.3%, but the advance retail 
inventories number was not released due to the shutdown. As for sales, 
factory shipments fell 0.6% and wholesale sales were down 0.6%, while 
the advance estimate for retail trade sales was a 0.3% increase, so the 
data suggest business sales were down 0.3% in the month pending any 
revision to retail trade sales. 
Empire State Index for February (diffusion index)
 Friday, February 15 at 8:30 a.m. ET                     Actual:        
                 Median        Range                 Feb19  Jan19  Dec18
 Empire Index      5.8       0.0 to 11.5                --    3.9   11.5
     Comments: The Empire State index is expected to rebound to 5.8 in 
February after falling to 3.9 in January. The index has underperformed 
estimates in the last two months and remains only slightly above the 
breakeven point. 
Industrial Production for January (percent change)
 Friday, February 15 at 9:15 a.m. ET                     Actual:        
              Median          Range                  Jan19  Dec18  Nov18
 Ind Prod      +0.1%      Flat to +0.2%                 --  +0.3%  +0.4% 
 Cap Util      78.7%     78.6% to 78.8%                 --  78.7%  78.6%  
     Comments: Industrial production is expected to rise 0.1% in January 
after a 0.3% rise in December. Factory payrolls rose by 13,000 in 
January, while auto production jobs rose by 1,000 and the factory 
workweek shortened slightly to 40.8 hours. The ISM production index 
rebounded sharply to 60.5 in the current month from 54.1 in the previous 
month. Utilities production is expected to partially rebound in the 
month after a 6.3% plunge in December, as temperatures returned to 
below-normal levels in January, in some cases to record lows. Mining 
production is forecast to dip after gain in the previous two months. 
Capacity utilization is forecast to hold steady at 78.7% in December. 
University of Michigan Survey for February (preliminary)          
 Friday, February 15 at 10:00 a.m. ET                     Actual:
                Median        Range                 Feb19p  Jan19  Dec18
 Consumer Sent   92.3     92.0 to 92.5                  --   91.2   98.3
     Comments: The Michigan Sentiment index is expected to rise to a 
reading of 92.3 in early-February after plunging in January, due in 
large part to the resolution of the government shutdown.
                                                 
--MNI Washington Bureau; +1 (973) 494-2611; email: harrison.clarke@marketnews.com
[TOPICS: MTABLE,M$U$$$]