Inflation Eases

Raleigh Mortgage GroupUncategorized

The major inflation data released this week was right on target. While GDP growth exceeded expectations, its impact was minor. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week with little change.  Fed officials keep a close eye on inflation, and the PCE price index is their favored indicator. In December, core PCE, which excludes food and energy to reduce short-term …

Strong Economic Data

Raleigh Mortgage GroupUncategorized

Strong data on consumer spending and the labor market raised the investor outlook for economic growth this year. This was negative for mortgage rates, which ended the week higher.  Despite higher prices and credit card rates, consumer spending remained strong during the holiday shopping period and again outperformed the forecasts of economists. In December, retail sales rose 0.6% from November, …

Favorable Inflation Data

Raleigh Mortgage GroupUncategorized

Investors were focused on the inflation data released this week, and they were pleased with the figures overall.  As a result, mortgage rates moved a little lower.  The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is one of the most widely followed inflation indicators. To reduce short-term volatility and get a better sense of the underlying inflation trend, investors often look at core …

Mixed Economic Data

Raleigh Mortgage GroupUncategorized

After dropping sharply during the final two months of the year, mortgage rates moved a little higher during the first week of 2024. A large batch of major economic data released during the week revealed mixed results. In December, the economy added 216,000 jobs, above the consensus forecast of 160,000, but the results for prior months were revised lower by …

Favorable Fed Forecasts  

Raleigh Mortgage GroupUncategorized

A pivot toward looser monetary policy by the Fed was highly favorable for mortgage markets this week. In addition, the major inflation data was a bit weaker than expected, and mortgage rates dropped to the lowest levels since May. As expected, the Fed made no change in the federal funds rate on Wednesday, and the statement released after the meeting …

Mixed Labor Market Data  

Raleigh Mortgage GroupUncategorized

The major economic data released this week revealed mixed results. This caused some volatility during the week, but mortgage rates ended with little change. In November, the economy added 199,000 jobs, above the consensus forecast of 180,000, but the results for prior months were revised lower by 35,000. The largest gains were seen in health care, government, and leisure/hospitality, while …

Focus On Fed Officials

Raleigh Mortgage GroupUncategorized

While the major economic data released this week caused little reaction, surprisingly dovish (in favor of looser monetary policy) comments from a Fed official were favorable for mortgage markets. As a result, rates ended the week lower.  Prior to this week, Fed officials carefully avoided providing any precise guidance on the conditions or the timing of a cut in the …

Inflation Moderates

Raleigh Mortgage GroupUncategorized

Quite simply, the highly anticipated inflation data released this week was lower than expected, which was great news for mortgage markets. Consumer spending also slowed sharply from last month. As a result, rates ended the week lower.  The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is one of the most widely followed inflation indicators. Mostly due to lower energy prices, CPI was 3.2% …

Quiet Week

Raleigh Mortgage GroupUncategorized

During a very light week for economic reports, market moving events were scarce. After falling sharply last week, mortgage rates ended just slightly higher, still far below their recent peak.  Since the beginning of 2022, the Fed raised the federal funds rate at eleven consecutive meetings and then held steady at the last two. Investors are divided about whether there …

Job Gains Fall Short

Raleigh Mortgage GroupUncategorized

Weaker than expected economic data and a lack of surprises from the Fed initiated a large rally for mortgage markets this week. In particular, the key Employment report and the manufacturing sector data saw downside misses, causing investors to reduce their outlook for economic growth. After reaching their highest levels in over two decades, mortgage rates ended the week sharply …