Economy Week Ahead: Inflation, Retail Sales, Industrial Production
By WSJ Staff
Inflation is in focus with this week's round of economic
China's factory-gate prices are expected to surge in April.
Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal are forecasting a rise
in the producer-price index of 6.5% from a year earlier, in part
because of a low base for comparison -- prices sank in April 2020
amid the coronavirus pandemic -- but also due to rapidly climbing
costs for metals, oil and other materials. The country's
consumer-price index is expected to climb for the second
The U.K. economy likely contracted in the first quarter after
the government in December responded to rising Covid-19 cases with
fresh restrictions on social and economic activity. But a strong
vaccination campaign and steady reopening of the economy suggest
the downturn was short lived. Economists expect growth to return in
the second quarter and the Bank of England is forecasting U.K.
gross domestic product will grow by 7.25% in 2021.
U.S. consumer prices in April are expected to post their largest
annual increase in nearly a decade. Costs are rising for goods and
services in high demand and short supply, but the figures will also
be amplified by the comparison to prices from a year earlier --
when the economy was in a pandemic-induced tailspin. Federal
Reserve officials are forecasting only temporary inflation
pressures, though not all economists agree with the Fed's benign
U.S. consumer spending jumped in March as federal-stimulus
checks sent household incomes soaring. Economists are forecasting
more gains in April, albeit at a slower pace than the previous
month. Retail sales -- a measure of purchases at stores, at
restaurants and online -- will likely be helped along as Covid-19
related restrictions are relaxed, vaccination campaigns advance and
the broader economy expands.
U.S. industrial production -- a measure of factory, mining and
utility output -- is expected to advance in April as factories look
to keep up with strong demand for autos, appliances and other
goods. Supply-chain disruptions, rising raw-material costs,
semiconductor shortages and transportation bottlenecks have been
the biggest obstacles for manufacturers in recent months.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 09, 2021 15:14 ET (19:14 GMT)
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