Following last week’s large rally, it was a relatively quiet week for mortgage rates. In the economic reports released last week, inflation remained low and the economic growth data was mixed. Mortgage rates ended the week with little change.
The economic report which received the most attention last week was Retail Sales, which represent roughly 70% of economic activity. March Retail Sales declined 0.4% from February, which was weaker than expected. Since the beginning of the year, investors have been concerned that consumers would scale back their spending due to the payroll tax increase, the sequester cuts, and higher gas prices. Combined with the weak March Employment report released two weeks ago, the question is how quickly the economy will grow for the rest of the year. Looking at the averages for the first three months of the year, Retail Sales growth and job gains were fairly strong even with the weakness in March.
The FOMC Minutes from the March 20 Fed meeting were released on Wednesday and contained a bit of a surprise. The minutes revealed that, due to improvement in the economic outlook, there was growing support for scaling back the Treasury and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) purchase program, beginning as soon as this summer. The impact of this news on mortgage rates was limited, however, since the Fed meeting took place before the weak March Employment and Retail Sales reports were released. The recent data reduced investor concerns about an earlier than expected end to the bond-buying program. The minutes were a reminder that the economic data in coming months will determine the timing of Fed policy changes, meaning that volatility around major economic reports likely will remain very high.
Tuesday, (today), will be the big day for economic data this week with CPI, Housing Starts, and Industrial Production. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), the most closely watched monthly inflation report, looks at the price change for those finished goods which are sold to consumers. The Fed’s Beige Book will be released on Wednesday. Philly Fed will come out on Thursday. Empire State and Leading Indicators will round out the schedule.
Give Donna, Pete, Cody or Drew a call today to discuss rates & get your buyer “Pre-Approved”.
You can reach any/all of us at 918-592-6000.
Thank You For Your Partnership.
Make It A Great Week!