TheGrio and CNBC team up to deliver a weekly report of money matters and market updates for our community.
CNBC’s Shartia Brantley reports:
Last week, President Obama signed the health care reconciliation bill into law. Provisions affecting business include increasing tax credits to buy insurance and filling the gaps of Medicare Part D. Consumer confidence numbers for March 2010 came in better than expected with a reading of 52.5, but Americans are still concerned about the labor market.
Regionally, manufacturing activity in the Midwest is showing the first signs of easing after several months of growth, according to the Chicago Purchasing Managers Business Barometer from the Institute of Supply Management – Chicago?.
This week, investors must analyze reports on the services sector, consumer credit, and housing.
First, we’ll get a read on housing contract activity with the February 2010 Pending Home Sales Index from the National Association of Realtors. The last report showed a 7.6 percent month-to-month decline in signed contracts, with abnormal and severe winter weather conditions across the U.S. partly to blame.
How is the service sector performing? The March 2010 Non-Manufacturing Report on Business from the Institute For Supply Management (ISM) to be released today will offer insight into service sector business activity. The February 2010 report showed the highest reading since December 2007, with an increase to 53. Report-on-Business (ROB) readings above 50 signal expansion.
Also due today, the Federal Reserve releases its February 2010 Consumer Credit Report which looks at outstanding debt such as car and student loans. In January 2010, consumer credit held by individuals rose by 5 percent. In total, Americans carry more than 2.5 trillion dollars of debt.
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