Today we get a glimpse into the impact of falling oil prices on inflation and the depth of the oncoming slowdown. The Bureau of Labor Statistics report for August producer prices should indicate some easing of inflationary pressures.
The consensus forecast is for a 0.5 percent decline in the headline index and for only a 0.2 percent increase in the core--producer prices, less food and energy.
My forecasts are for a more modest easing--a 0.1 percent decline in the headline figure and a still stubborn 0.3 percent increase in the core. I am not a bear on inflation. I just see more easing coming in September.
Retail sales may be more distressing. The consensus forecast is for a 0.3 percent increase--0.2 percent less autos, which ticked up a bit. My figures are for a 0.2 percent increase in the headline figure and 0.1 percent less autos.
Numbers like those would indicate the economy is slowing dramatically and unemployment is getting much worse.
Other data today are business inventories and the closely watched Michigan Consumer Sentiment index.