6/13/2011 – theGrio and CNBC Market Update

There were quite a few economic reports for investors to digest last week. The fed’s beige book said the economy continues to grow overall, but there were signs of a slow down in the New York, Atlanta and Chicago fed districts. Consumers cut back on credit cards in April, but increased their student and car loans.

And new claims for jobless benefits rose unexpectedly by 1,000 to 427,000 last week suggesting a slowing labor market. In the week ahead, investors await reports on housing, production and inflation.

We’ll get a read on housing with the May housing starts report. In April, new construction fell 10.6 percent after rebounding the previous month. The existing housing inventory has discouraged builders from starting new projects. Building permits – a future gauge of building activity – also fell 4 percent.

We’ll gain insight on the economy with the May industrial production report. In April industrial production — which tracks activity in manufacturing, mining and utilities – was flat after the Japan earthquake created a shortage of parts and caused a slowdown in auto production.

Is inflation a concern? We’ll find out with the May consumer price index report – which tracks price changes for food, clothing and energy – in April prices rose .4 percent driven by higher food and gas prices. But there’s little concern about broader inflation at this time.