This week: Consumer credit, employment market updates

A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week:

Taking on debt

The Federal Reserve on Tuesday will release its monthly update on consumer credit.

Economists expect the report to show that consumer debt rose by $30 billion overall in January following a relatively muted increase in December. The report could provide more insight into how people are taking on debt amid the squeeze on their wallets from inflation and rising interest rates. Credit card debt, auto loans and personal loans all steadily increased throughout 2022.

Hiring update?

The U.S. government will release a closely watched report on job openings Wednesday.

Economists expect the Labor Department’s January data for job openings to remain relatively stable. The data is being watched by investors and the Federal Reserve as a gauge of the broader employment market’s health amid rising interest rates and high inflation. The labor market has remained resilient while other parts of the economy have weakened.

Job Openings by month (millions)

August 10.28

September 10.69

October 10.51

November 10.44

December 11.01

January 10.70 (est.)

Source: FactSet.

Employment checkup

The government releases its monthly employment report for February on Friday.

The report is being closely watched to see how the broader employment market is reacting to inflation and the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes. The job market has remained particularly strong, which is good for workers, but makes it more difficult for the Fed to tame inflation. The central bank is hoping to see the employment market soften as a signal that inflation is easing.

Nonfarm payrolls (seasonally adjusted)

September 350,000

October 324,000

November 290,000

December 260,000

January 517,000

February 215,000 (est.)

Source: FactSet

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