Dee DePass has been a Star Tribune business reporter since 1993, covering small business, financial institutions, manufacturing and, most recently, the economy. Originally from New York, Dee came to Minnesota after earning her master's in journalism at the University of Maryland and her undergraduate degree at Vassar College.

Economists predict slight growth in this week's pending reports

Posted by: Dee DePass under Economics Updated: February 13, 2012 - 12:04 PM

The folks at the renowned research group, IHS Global Insight, note that several reports due this week should show modest improvement across different sectors of the U.S. economy.

Mild weather - the third warmest on record since 1895 -- is expected to have boosted January housing starts to the highest monthly level in three years, IHS economists said. They suspect warm weather trends also bumped up retail and auto sales and industrial production for the month.

The key take away of IHS's over-the-weekend report is that housing and manufacturing are on the move again. Housing starts could grow by 6.5 percent for the month.

The national industrial production report -- due out Wednesday -- could show a 1.1 percent gain from prior month. "Manufacturing has gotten off to a strong start in 2012, with business, equipment demand, motor vehicles, and inventory rebuilding [being] the big drivers," the IHS report said.

On the downside, consumer and producer prices are believed to have inched upward in January due to higher energy prices.

Keep an eye out for the following national economic reports this week for January:
Tuesday Feb. 14,  Auto and retail sales
Wednesday  Feb.15, Industrial production
Thursday Feb. 16,  Producer price index and housing starts
Friday  Feb. 17, Consumer price index
 

 

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