IFR-Preview-major US economic data for Oct. 15

WHAT: Federal Reserve Bank of New York Empire State Manufacturing Survey index, October

WHEN: Monday 0830 EDT (1230 GMT)

FORECASTS Reuters IFR Previous ESMS Index -4.55 -6.00 -10.41

IFR COMMENTARY: "The narrative remains the same in the manufacturing sector: Ongoing weakness due to the slow global growth environment and massive fiscal uncertainty. And so we look for the first manufacturing surveys of October to continue showing softness, with the New York Fed's Empire State Manufacturing index on Monday moving up from -10.41 to about -6.00.

The NY Fed's forward-looking new orders index collapsed from -5.50 to -14.03 in September, its worst showing since November 2010, but its six months ahead expectations index rose from +15.20 to +27.22, best since May." -----------------

WHAT: Commerce Department Retail Sales, September

WHEN: Monday 0830 EDT (1230 GMT)

FORECASTS (pct) Reuters IFR Previous Retail Sales +0.8 +0.5 +0.9 Sales ex autos +0.6 +0.4 +0.8 Ex autos/gas/bldg. +0.3 +0.3 -0.1

IFR COMMENTARY: "Retail sales appear set to wrap up a strong third quarter with a 0.5% gain in September. That should be driven by surprisingly strong auto sales, an ongoing recovery in building materials after a very weak Q2, a modest uptick in gas station sales and some contribution from the latest iPhone release. Ex-auto sales will likely be up 0.4%, while we see core sales (excluding volatile auto, building material, and gas station sales) up 0.3%, a modest bounce after August's 0.1% dip.

Retail sales are unlikely to continue to significantly outpace income growth now that we are back on trend after recovery from the Q2 decline. Auto sales in particular, while still well below the per capita replacement rate, will likely see their recent momentum cool, and Apple can only drive the economy so far. So while Q3's numbers look good in isolation, we would not extrapolate from them a significantly stronger than expected recovery going forward as we crawl closer to the fiscal cliff." -----------------

WHAT: Commerce Department Business Inventories, August

WHEN: Monday 1000 EDT (1400 GMT)

FORECASTS (pct) Reuters IFR Previous Business Inventories +0.5 +0.8 +0.8

IFR COMMENTARY: "An expected 1.1% monthly gain in retail inventories should leave total business inventories up 0.8% m/m in August. That would match July's gain, which was the fastest rise in six months. We already know that factory inventories rose 0.6% in August and that wholesale inventories rose 0.5%. What's missing is the change in retail inventories, which over the prior three months has climbed an average 1.0% per month.

Business sales should total $124.5 bln, a gain of 0.4% from the prior month and 3.2% from the same month a year earlier. The inventory-sales ratio for total business should rise from 1.283 in July to 1.288 in August, representing a 32-month high and reflecting some of the discomfort on inventories reported in many purchasing manager surveys. Most of the uneasiness should be coming from retailers.

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

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

((Washington newsroom, 202 898 8318))