According to the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) Monday Economic Report for this week, consumer credit increased at a slower pace in March, growing at an annual rate of 1.5%, a decrease from the previous month rate of 3.6%.  Total outstanding consumer credit was estimated to increase by $15 billion but instead, rose $6.3 billion.   

On Tuesday, additional economic indicators were released including the U.S. Producer Price Index and NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the producer price index, a gauge of prices received at the wholesale level, increased 0.5% in April and was up 2.2% on a 12-month basis, the biggest gain in a year. NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index rose by 1.2 points in April to 89.7, marking the first increase of this year but the 28th consecutive month below the 50-year average of 98.  Almost a quarter of business owners reported that inflation was their single most important problem. The latest inflation data comes with the Federal Reserve on extended hold regarding interest rates.