This week: Consumer prices, wholesale prices, retail sales

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

Consumer price check

The U.S. government will release data on consumer prices on Tuesday.

Analysts expect inflation at the consumer level edged higher in February after easing in January. Inflation has been cooling, but only gradually and fitfully amid interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. Drivers of inflation have decisively shifted from goods, like used cars, to services. The Fed is trying to ease inflation back to its 2% target level.

Consumer price index, annual percent change, not seasonally adjusted:

Sept. 3.7

Oct. 3.2

Nov. 3.1

Dec. 3.4

Jan. 3.1

Feb. (est.) 3.2

Source: FactSet

Measuring inflation’s path

The Labor Department issues its February reading on wholesale prices Thursday.

The producer price index measures inflation before businesses pass costs along to consumers. Prices at the wholesale level can provide insight into potential changes in consumer prices. Wall Street expects it to creep 0.3% higher in February, just as it did in January. Inflation has been easing overall at the both the producer and consumer levels.

Producer price index, monthly percent change, seasonally adjusted:

Sept. 0.2

Oct. -0.4

Nov. 0.1

Dec. -0.2

Jan. 0.3

Feb. (est.) 0.3

Source: FactSet

Reviewing retail sales

The Commerce Department on Thursday reports U.S. retail sales data for February.

Analysts expect that retail sales rose 0.3% last month after slipping 0.8% in January. Shopping by consumers accounts for nearly 70% of the U.S. economy and retail sales are watched closely as a measure of economic health. Consumer spending has been a driving force of economic growth, despite high inflation.

Retail sales, monthly percent change, seasonally adjusted:

Sept.: 0.8

Oct.: -0.3

Nov.: 0.0

Dec.: 0.4

Jan.: -0.8

Feb.: (est.) 0.3

Source: FactSet