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IFR-Preview-Major US economic data for Oct. 11

WHAT: Labor Department Import and Export Prices, September

WHEN: Thursday 0830 EDT (1230 GMT)

FORECASTS (pct) Reuters IFR Previous Import Prices +0.7 +0.2 +0.7

IFR COMMENTARY: "Oil prices eked out a relatively small gain in September after surging in August, and that should only be enough to send import prices (not seasonally adjusted) up 0.2%. Ex-petroleum prices, which have fallen for four consecutive months now, should be about flat after the dollar stopped strengthening earlier in the summer.

With Europe moving back into recession and trade having retreated a bit, import prices should provide little inflation threat. Oil is unlikely to make any significant breaks upward with headwinds to demand still fierce in the U.S. and Europe." -----------------

WHAT: Commerce Department International Trade Deficit, August

WHEN: Thursday 0830 EDT (1230 GMT)

FORECASTS (bln) Reuters IFR Previous Trade deficit $44.0 $44.5 $42.0

IFR COMMENTARY: "We look for the trade deficit to have come back up from $42.0 bln to about $44.5 bln in August. While wider than the June and July deficits, it would remain noticeably below the Q2 average of $46.4 bln, implying that net exports will be a positive contributor to Q3 GDP.

Oil prices came back up in August, and should lift the petroleum deficit back up after four consecutive declines. August's $20.9 bln deficit was the smallest since November 2010. The ex-petroleum deficit will likely be fairly stable, as the dollar has given back some of its gains and there have been no significant new hits to overall trade in real terms.

The real trade deficit we look to see little change at about $46.5 bln."

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WHAT: Labor Department Initial Jobless Claims, weekly

WHEN: Thursday 0830 EDT (1230 GMT)

FORECASTS Reuters IFR Previous Initial claims 370,000 365,000 367,000

Continued claims (mln) 3.275 3.280 3.281

IFR COMMENTARY: "Initial claims have worked out their post-Labor Day volatility, and should read 365k for the week ended October 6, down just slightly from the prior week's 367k (which should, as usual, get revised up slightly). Claims have traveled in a relatively narrow range this year, but on the whole have been about flat, and we don't see that changing in the near term. If anything, layoffs may creep up as we approach the fiscal cliff.

Continuing claims for the week ended September 29 probably remained around 3.280 mln. That would represent essentially no change (barring revision) from the prior two weeks, and little change for the series since about mid-April. Layoffs have remained relatively low, though uncertainty about the economic outlook has kept hiring subdued as well."

-- by Theodore Littleton of IFR Markets, a unit of Thomson Reuters.

((--Reuters Economics and Markets desk, +1 212 646 6300))

((Washington newsroom, 202 898 8318))

Keywords: IFR PREVIEW/USA