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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 Washington was the center of news. The Federal Reserve said the economy is improving, companies are spending more but are reluctant to hire and left its benchmark interest rate – which affects mortgage, credit card and student loan rates – unchanged in the zero to 0.25 percent range. Goldman Sachs executives were grilled on Capitol Hill for their role in the financial crisis, and the Senate voted to have an open discussion on financial regulatory reform. This week investors await reports on jobs, housing and consumer credit.
We’ll get a check on the labor market with the April unemployment report. In March the national unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.7 percent as 162,000 jobs were added. African-American unemployment rose to 16.5 percent, while black teen unemployment dipped to 41 percent, but remains the highest of any group.
We’ll get a read on housing with the March pending home sales report, which measures contract activity. The February report showed an 8 percent increase in signed contracts as buyers rushed to take advantage of the first time homebuyer tax credit.
Are consumers cutting debt? We’ll find out with the March consumer credit report – which looks at outstanding debt such as car and student loans. In February consumer credit declined by 5.5 percent, but Americans carry about $2.5 trillion of debt.
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