Besides keeping an eye on the European debt crisis, investors had several reports to sift through last week. The fed said the economy continues to grow at a moderate pace as manufacturing improved and hiring increased around the country. Consumer credit rose by 6.5 billion dollars in April, driven by an increase in student loans. New claims for jobless benefits fell by 12,000 to 377,000 however, the four week moving average rose highlighting the fragile labor market recovery. In the week ahead we’ll get reports on small business, inflation and consumer sentiment.
We’ll check the pulse of small business with the may survey from the NFIB. In April small business optimism rose to a 94.5 reading, its highest reading in a year, as businesses reported better sales and improving profit trends.
We’ll get a read on inflation with the May consumer price index report. In April prices were unchanged from the previous month due to lower gas and energy prices. Are you feeling better about the economy? We’ll find out with the preliminary consumer sentiment report for June. In May sentiment rose to a 79. 3 reading because of lower gas prices and inflation expectations.