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This Week: consumer prices, Wal-Mart deserves, housing starts

A look at some of the major business events and economic indicators coming out this week:

JUST A BLIP?

Economists expect that a gauge of U.S. consumer sharp prices higher in October after a big jump the previous month.

The Department of Labor’s consumer price index, which on Wednesday is expected to show a gain of 0.1 percent for the month of October. Consumer prices jumped 0.5 percent in September, the biggest increase in eight months. That turns out to be a spike in energy prices in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which closed Gulf Coast refineries and drove gas prices.

The consumer price index, monthly percent change, seasonally adjusted per month:

May -0.1

June 0.0

July 0.1

Aug. 0.4

Sept. 0.5

Oct. (est.) 0.1

Source: FactSet

ON A ROLL

Wall Street expects another strong quarter report from Wal-Mart Stores.

The world’s largest retailer posted improved earnings and revenue in the first half of the current fiscal year. The company is back new store growth in the U.S. and to concentrate on the online business as it takes on Amazon.com and more traditional rivals, such as Target. Wal-Mart serves the third quarter Thursday.

EYE ON THE CONSTRUCTION

The Commerce Department issues its latest monthly reading of the construction of new homes begins Friday.

The construction of new homes and apartments slipped 4.7 percent in September, the largest decline in six months. The builders say that they are crippled by a shortage of skilled workers and land parcels ready for new construction. Despite the slowdown, housing construction is still running 6.1 percent higher than a year ago.

Housing starts, monthly, seasonally adjusted annual rate:

Can 1,129,000

June 1,217,000

July 1,185,000

Aug. 1,183,000

Sept. 1,127,000

Oct. (est.) 1,190,000

Source: FactSet

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