CONSUMER PRICE RISE
OF 0.2 PERCENT IS EXPECTEDU.S. consumer prices crept up 0.2 percent in August, but the core rate without food and energy components rose 0.4 percent, economists told Knight-Ridder Financial News in an informal survey.
The Labor Department will release the data today.
Estimates from the 10 economists surveyed ranged from up 0.1 percent to 0.3 percent for the overall CPI, and from up 0.2 percent to up 0.5 percent for the core rate.
The July CPI was up 0.2 percent and the underlying rate up 0.4 percent. Energy price increases are likely to be the wild card in the overall price index, especially after the uncertainty sparked by Friday's release of the August producer price index, economists said.
Energy prices tumbled 7.3 percent, largely contributing to the 0.4 percent fall in overall PPI, which was lower than expectations.
"How much of the collapse in energy will get fed into the CPI is difficult to predict,"said Gary Ciminero, chief economist at Fleet/Norstar
Financial Group in Providence, R.I.
LITTLE CHANGE SEEN
IN HOUSING STARTS
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - August housing starts will decline 0.42 percent to an annual rate of 1.424 million units, according to lumber traders and economists taking part in a Knight-Ridder Financial News survey.
They also predicted that housing permits would increase 3.08 percent to a rate of 1.306 million.
The Commerce Department is scheduled to release its August housing starts report today.
Slight gains in mortgage rates in August were expected to contrast an increase in new home sales in July to leave starts for the month virtually unchanged, survey participants said.
All agreed that none of the factors affecting housing had moved substantially from their July levels, resulting in very little change in starts.