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Repeats Story Initially Transmitted at 21:06 GMT Oct 12/17:06 EST Oct 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 October (diffusion index)
 Monday, October 15 at 8:30 a.m. ET                      Actual:        
                 Median        Range                 Oct18  Sep18  Aug18
 Empire Index      20.0    18.0 to 21.4                 --   19.0   25.6
     Comments: The Empire State index is expected to rise to 20.0 in 
October after a dip to 19.0 in September.
Retail and Food Sales for September (percent change)                       
 Monday, October 15 at 8:30 a.m. ET                      Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Sep18  Aug18  Jul18
 Retail Sales   +0.6%    +0.5% to +0.8%                 --  +0.1%  +0.7%
 Ex-Mtr Veh     +0.4%    +0.2% to +0.7%                 --  +0.3%  +0.9%
     Comments: Retail sales are forecast to rise 0.6% in September after 
a weaker than expected 0.1% gain in August. Not seasonally adjusted 
industry motor vehicle sales were modestly stronger in September, while 
AAA reported that gasoline prices slipped modestly in mid-September from 
one month earlier. Sales may have been held back in North Carolina and 
South Carolina due to Hurricane Florence, but the building materials 
sales should be boosted in the coming months by the rebuilding efforts. 
Retail sales are expected to rise 0.4% excluding motor vehicles after a 
0.3% rise in August. Analysts see solid gains for the control readings 
as well, a strong ending for third quarter consumption. 
Business Inventories for August (percent change)                      
 Monday, October 15 at 10:00 a.m. ET                      Actual:        
              Median           Range                 Aug18  Jul18  Jun18
 Inventories    +0.6%    +0.5% to +0.6%                 --  +0.6%  +0.1%
     Comments: Business inventories are expected to rise by 0.6% in 
August. Factory inventories were already reported as down 0.1% in the 
month, while wholesale inventories rose 1.0%, and the advance report 
showed retail inventories up 0.7%. Taken together, an MNI calculation 
looks for a 0.5% increase for business inventories at this point, so the 
median forecast suggests analysts see an upward revision to retail 
inventories. As for sales, factory shipments rose 0.5% and wholesale 
sales were up 0.8%, while the advance estimate for retail trade sales 
was a 0.1% gain, so the data suggest business sales were up 0.5% in the 
month pending any revision to retail trade sales. 
Industrial Production for September (percent change)
 Tuesday, October 16 at 9:15 a.m. ET                     Actual:        
              Median          Range                  Sep18  Aug18  Jul18
 Ind Prod      +0.2%    +0.1% to +0.6%                  --  +0.4%  +0.4% 
 Cap Util      78.2%    78.0% to 78.3%                  --  78.1%  77.9% 
     Comments: Industrial production is expected to rise by 0.2% in 
September on a utilities surge that should be offset by softer readings 
for manufacturing and mining production. Factory payrolls rose by 18,000 
in September, but auto production jobs were flat and the factory 
workweek shortened to 40.8 hours. The ISM production index rose to 63.9 
in the current month from 63.3 in the previous month. Utilities 
production is expected to rise further in the month due to unseasonably 
warm temperatures, while mining production is forecast to maintain its 
string of gains, albeit a bit slower. Capacity utilization is forecast 
to tick up to 78.2% from 78.1% in August. 
Housing Starts for September (annual rate, million) 
 Wednesday, October 17 at 8:30 a.m. ET                   Actual:        
           Median            Range                   Sep18  Aug18  Jul18
 Starts    1.230m      1.187m to 1.251m                 -- 1.282m 1.174m 
     Comments: The seasonally adjusted pace of housing starts is 
expected to slow to a 1.230 million annual rate in September after 
moving up slightly in August. The NAHB index held steady at 67 in 
September. As inventories remain tight, builders will likely find it 
advantageous to boost output. The pace of building permits is expected 
to rise to a 1.266 million annual rate after falling sharply in August. 
Rebuilding following Hurricane Florence should lift permits and starts 
in coming months. 
Weekly Jobless Claims for October 13 week                                
 Thursday, October 18 at 8:30 a.m. ET                    Actual:       
               Median         Range                  Oct15  Oct06  Sep29
 Weekly Claims   213k     210k to 215k                  --   214k   207k
     Comments: The level of initial jobless claims is expected to fall 
by only 1,000 to a 213,000 level in the October 13 employment survey 
week after an increase of 7,000 to a still-low 214,000 level in the 
previous week. While the impact of Hurricane Florence should continue to 
move out of the data, Hurricane Michael hit Florida on October 10 and 
should lift initial claims further and impact the survey week for 
payrolls. The four-week moving average would rise by 2,750 in the coming 
week as the recent low 202,000 level in the September 15 employment 
survey week rolls out of the calculation, assuming the MNI forecast is 
correct and there are no revisions. 
Philadelphia Federal Reserve Index for October (diffusion index)
 Thursday, October 18 at 8:30 a.m. ET                    Actual:        
                 Median        Range                 Oct18  Sep18  Aug18
 Phila Fed         18.0    16.2 to 20.0                 --   22.9   11.9
     Comments: The Philadelphia Fed index is expected to slip to a 
reading of 18.0 in October after rebounding to 22.9 in September.
Leading Indicators for September (percent change)
 Thursday, October 18 at 10:00 a.m. ET                   Actual:
                 Median         Range                Sep18  Aug18  Jul18
 Leading Index    +0.4%    +0.4% to +0.4%               --  +0.4%  +0.7%
     Comments: The index of leading indicators is forecast to rise by 
0.4% in September. Positive contributions are expected from increases in 
stock prices and consumer expectations. 
Existing-home Sales for September (annual rate)                           
 Friday, October 19 at 10:00 a.m. ET                     Actual:
                 Median       Range                  Sep18  Aug18  Jul18 
 Home Resales     5.30m   5.27m to 5.38m                --  5.34m  5.34m
     Comments: The pace of existing home sales is expected to slip to a 
5.30 million annual rate in September after holding steady in August. 
Pending home sales fell by 1.8% in August, a negative sign for existing 
home sales.
--MNI Washington Bureau; +1 (973) 494-2611; email: