- Trade Balance: The U.S. trade deficit is now at its widest level since June 2010. Half of the increase is attributable to the increase in imports of petroleum products, as well as the increase in the price of crude oil. With crude oil prices increasing further in February, it’s likely that petroleum imports will increase as well. February trade balance data come out Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.
- Retail Sales: Retail sales recovered in February from January’s snowstorms. Led by strong growth in motor vehicle sales, retail sales in February edged up 1 percent, and experts expect that number to continue to improve. Watch for March data on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.
- Fed’s Beige Book: The Fed’s survey in March showed the U.S. economic recovery is picking up and gained strength as the year began. But the economy is not recovering evenly across the country. For example, although the job market improved, real estate remains bogged down in the doldrums. April’s findings are due out Wednesday at 4 p.m.
- PPI: Producer prices in February saw their largest monthly gain since November 1974 mainly due to a 3.9 percent increase in food prices and a 3.3 percent increase in energy costs. Fed Chairman Bernanke has tried to reassure the markets, saying the spike in U.S. inflation “will be transitory,” but hawks at the Fed and some economists may need more convincing. Watch for March data on Thursday at 8:30 a.m.
- Michigan Consumer Sentiment: An increase in energy and food prices and Japan’s natural disaster is took a toll on consumer confidence in March. The Michigan Consumer Sentiment index decline last month was the 10th largest decline ever recorded, and March’s index of 67.5 was the lowest level since November 2009. Data for April come out Friday at 9:55 a.m.