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Repeats Story Initially Transmitted at 22:06 GMT Mar 8/17:06 EST Mar 8
                                                                             
     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 January (percent change)                      
 Monday, March 11 at 8:30 a.m. ET                        Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Jan19  Dec18  Nov18
 Retail Sales   -0.1%     -0.9% to +0.5%                --  -1.2%  +0.1%
 Ex-Mtr Veh     +0.2%     -0.6% to +0.9%                --  -1.8%   Flat
     Comments: Retail sales are forecast to fall by 0.1% in January 
after a 1.2% plunge in December that resulted from declines in almost 
every category except vehicle sales. Analysts expect vehicles to offer 
some payback in January. Not seasonally adjusted industry motor vehicle 
sales slowed in January, while AAA reported that gasoline prices fell 
further in mid-January from one month earlier. Retail sales are expected 
to rise by only 0.2% excluding motor vehicles after a 1.8% decline in 
December. 
Business Inventories for December (percent change)                      
 Monday, March 11 at 10:00 a.m. ET                       Actual:        
              Median           Range                 Dec18  Nov18  Oct18
 Inventories   +0.6%       +0.4% to +0.8%               --  -0.1%  +0.6%
     Comments: Business inventories are expected to rise by 0.6% in 
December. Factory inventories were already reported as flat in the 
month, while wholesale inventories rose 1.1%, and the advance retail 
inventories estimate was a 0.9% gain, so an MNI estimate for business 
inventories is for a 0.6% gain. As for sales, factory shipments fell 
0.2% and wholesale sales were down 1.0%, while the advance estimate for 
retail trade sales was a 1.3% decline, so the data suggest business 
sales were down 0.8% in the month pending any revision to retail trade 
sales. 
Consumer Price Index for February (percent change)                       
 Tuesday, March 12 at 8:30 a.m. ET                       Actual:        
              Median         Range                   Feb19  Jan19  Dec18
 CPI           +0.2%     +0.1% to +0.3%                 --   Flat   Flat 
 CPI Core      +0.2%     +0.1% to +0.3%                 --  +0.2%  +0.2%
     Comments: The CPI is expected to rise by 0.2% in February after a 
gasoline-related dip in January. A rebound in gasoline prices, as 
evidenced by the monthly AAA data, will be a key factor. The core CPI is 
forecast to rise by 0.2% for the fifth straight month. 
Producer Price Index for February (percent change)
 Wednesday, March 13 at 8:30 a.m. ET                     Actual:        
                 Median         Range                Feb19  Jan19  Dec18
 Final Demand     +0.2%     -0.1% to +0.3%              --  -0.1%  -0.1% 
 Ex Food,Energy   +0.3%      Flat to +0.7%              --  +0.3%   Flat
     Comments: Final demand PPI is expected to rise by 0.2% in February 
after a 0.1% January decrease that was due to another sharp energy 
decline and a pull-back in food prices. Energy prices are expected to 
partially rebound following a 3.8% January decrease. Excluding food and 
energy prices, PPI is forecast to rise by 0.3%, the same as in January. 
Durable Goods Orders for January (percent change)
 Wednesday, March 13 at 8:30 a.m. ET                     Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Jan19  Dec18  Nov18 
 New Orders     -0.5%     -2.3% to +1.9%                --  +1.2%  +0.9% 
 Ex-Transport   +0.1%     -1.4% to +1.4%                --  +0.1%  -0.2%
     Comments: Durable goods orders are expected to fall by 0.5% in 
January after rising by 1.2% in December. Boeing orders fell sharply in 
January, which should allow transportation orders to pull back. However, 
seasonal adjustment factors could offset much of that decline. Durable 
goods orders excluding transportation are expected to rise by 0.1% for a 
second straight month. 
Construction Spending for January (percent change)                        
 Wednesday, March 13 at 10:00 a.m. ET                    Actual:
               Median         Range                  Jan19  Dec18  Nov18
 Construction   +0.3%     -0.2% to +0.7%                --  -0.6%  +0.8%
     Comments: The value of construction spending is expected to rise by 
0.3% in January. Housing starts rebounded by 18.6% in the month, a 
strong positive for residential construction activity after a weak 
December reading. 
Weekly Jobless Claims for March 9 week                                
 Thursday, March 14 at 8:30 a.m. ET                       Actual:       
               Median         Range                  Mar09  Mar02  Feb23
 Weekly Claims   225k      220k to 228k                 --   233k   226k
     Comments: The level of initial jobless claims is expected to rise 
by 2,000 to 225,000 in the March 9 week after a decrease of 3,000 in the 
previous week. The four-week moving average would fall by an additional 
3,500 this week as the 239,000 level in the February 9 week rolls out of 
the calculation, assuming the MNI forecast is correct and there are no 
revisions. 
New Home Sales for January (annual rate)
 Thursday, March 14 at 10:00 a.m. ET                       Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Jan19  Dec18  Nov18
 New Homes       630k      575k to 641k                 --   621k   599k 
     Comments: The pace of new home sales is expected to rise further to 
a 630,000 annual rate in January after solid December rebound. Sales in 
October and November were revised lower, while sales in December were 
still down from a year earlier. 
Empire State Index for March (diffusion index)
 Friday, March 15 at 8:30 a.m. ET                        Actual:        
                 Median        Range                 Mar19  Feb19  Jan19
 Empire Index      10.0      6.0 to 15.0                --    8.8    3.9
     Comments: The Empire State index is expected to move higher to 10.0 
in March after rebounding to 8.8 in February. The manufacturing measures 
have moderated in recent months, but continue to exhibit positive 
growth. 
Industrial Production for February (percent change)
 Friday, March 15 at 9:15 a.m. ET                        Actual:        
              Median          Range                  Feb19  Jan19  Dec18
 Ind Prod      +0.4%       Flat to +1.1%                --  -0.6%  +0.1% 
 Cap Util      78.5%      78.1% to 79.0%                --  78.2%  78.8%  
     Comments: Industrial production is expected to rebound by 0.4% in 
February after a 0.6% decline in January, with a number of negative 
signs for manufacturing production after January's decline. Factory 
payrolls rose by only 4,000 in February, with auto production jobs up 
1,000, while the factory workweek contracted further to 40.7 hours from 
40.8 hours in January. The ISM production index fell to 54.8 in the 
current month from 60.5 in the previous month. Utilities production is 
expected to surge on harsh weather in the month after a modest 0.4% rise 
in January, while mining production is expected to continue its upward 
path. Capacity utilization is forecast to rise to 78.5% after falling to 
78.2% in January. 
University of Michigan Survey for March (preliminary)          
 Friday, March 15 at 10:00 a.m. ET                       Actual:
                Median        Range                 Mar19p  Feb19  Jan19
 Consumer Sent    95.5     94.0 to 97.0                 --   93.8   91.2
     Comments: The Michigan Sentiment index is expected to rise to 95.5 
in early-March from 93.8 in February, reflecting rising stock prices and 
still-low gasoline prices.
                                                 
--MNI Washington Bureau; +1 (973) 494-2611; email: harrison.clarke@marketnews.com
[TOPICS: MTABLE]