Monday, April 15, 2024

This Week: Industrial production, retail sales, FedEx earns

by David Specht

A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week:


The Federal Reserve issues its November snapshot of U.S. industrial production Tuesday.

Industrial production rose 1.1% in October, recovering much of the spring decline caused by the coronavirus, but production remains below pre-pandemic levels. Industrial production is expected to have increased at a far slower 0.3% pace last month. Economists say future gains will depend largely on how the U.S. handles a third surge of infections, and whether it can deliver more financial aid for Americans and businesses.

Industrial production, monthly percent change, seasonally adjusted:

  • June 6.0
  • July 4.3
  • Aug. 0.7
  • Sept. -0.4
  • Oct. 1.1
  • Nov. (est.) 0.3
  • Source: FactSet


The pace of U.S. retail sales growth has slowed since May’s rebound from a spring slump.

Retail sales grew a sluggish 0.3% in October, even as retailers offered early holiday season discounts online and in stores. Economists project that retail sales fell last month by 0.4%. The slowdown follows a surge in coronavirus infections nationwide, which have prompted some state and local governments to impose limits on businesses. The Commerce Department delivers its November retail sales figures Wednesday.

Retail sales, monthly percent change, seasonally adjusted:

  • June 8.6
  • July 1.1
  • Aug. 1.4
  • Sept. 1.6
  • Oct. 0.3
  • Nov. (est.) -0.4
  • Source: FactSet


Wall Street expects another solid quarterly report card from FedEx.

Analysts predict the package delivery giant will report Thursday that its fiscal second-quarter earnings and revenue increased from a year earlier. That would echo its results in the first quarter. FedEx has benefited from the surge in online shopping as customers avoid stores due to the pandemic. Investors will be listening for an update on how the company’s holiday shopping season shipping volumes are faring.

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