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Sunday, April 17, 2005

Statistical Releases and Speeches This Week

From US News and World Report, a list of speeches and statistical releases to note. The investor confidence release on Monday given last week's disappointing economic news, and the release of the PPI and CPI indexes on Tuesday and Wednesday which will affect inflationary expectations are particularly noteworthy. The release of oil inventory data on Wednesday and the Conference Board's release of Leading Economic Indicators on Thursday are also worth noting:

Monday, April 18:

FEDSPEAK: Federal Reserve Board governor Susan Schmidt Bies will speak about the economy in an address at Canisius College in Buffalo.

INVESTOR CONFIDENCE: The April results of the State Street Investor Confidence Index are due out this morning. Last month, investor confidence rose modestly as the economy looked to be strengthening. But now that the economy—and the stock market—appear to have weakened, don't be surprised to see the index drop a bit.   

Tuesday, April 19:

PRODUCER PRICE INDEX: With just two weeks to go before the next Federal Reserve Board meeting on May 3, economists are paying particularly close attention to inflation. One closely followed measure of inflation at the wholesale level, the so-called producer price index, is due out this morning. After a 0.4 percent climb in February, many economists expect the March PPI to grow 0.6 percent. Anything higher will very likely lead to inflation fears on Wall Street, and that could send the stock and bond markets tumbling.   

FEDSPEAK: Sandra Pianalto, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, is scheduled to deliver a speech in New York this evening while St. Louis Fed president William Poole will address a small-business conference in Memphis.

Wednesday, April 20:

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX: Today, Wall Street awaits the March reading of the consumer price index, the most closely followed gauge of inflation at the retail level. In February, the cpi rose 0.4 percent, while so-called core cpi (which strips out volatile food and energy costs) jumped 0.3 percent. Economists expect the overall cpi in March to rise 0.4 percent and the core cpi to climb 0.2 percent. Again, anything higher is likely to fan inflation fears.   

BEIGE BOOK: The Fed will release its much-anticipated Beige Book report, officially known as the "Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District." This report provides a snapshot of the health of the economy in each of the Fed's 12 districts.

OIL INVENTORIES: Over the past couple of months, domestic crude oil inventories have risen dramatically to a three-year high. This week, Wall Street finds out if the trend continues, when the Energy Information Administration is scheduled to release the latest inventory data.

Thursday, April 21:

CHICAGO FED INDEX: Last week, there were several worrisome signs that the economy is slowing, including a disappointing Empire State Manufacturing Index report. That report showed that factory activity in New York fell to a two-year low. This morning, investors will get a better gauge of overall economic growth nationwide when the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank will release its March National Activity Index report.   

LEADING ECONOMIC INDICATORS: Another key gauge of economic activity is the Conference Board's Index of Leading Economic Indicators, which is due out this morning.

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