RATES IMPROVE SLIGHTLY DESPITE POSITIVE ECONOMIC DATA
Mortgage interest rates improved slightly on the week despite mostly stronger than expected economic data. Economic data stronger than expected included February Retail Sales, January Business Inventories, weekly jobless claims, February Industrial Production, and February Capacity Utilization. Business inventories had their largest increase since May of 2011 and Capacity Utilization reached its highest level since March of 2008. Economic data weaker than expected included the March New York Empire State Manufacturing Index and the March University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index which fell to its lowest level since December of 2011. The Treasury auctioned $69 billion in 3 Year Notes, 10 Year Notes, and 30 Year Bonds, $10 billion less than expected. The auctions were met with mixed demand. The European Central Bank forecast that the Euro Area economy will shrink 0.5% this year.
Long-term interest rates stayed under control this week, but barely. The economy is changing for the better: this may be another false recovery, but as they have gone this one is by far the most broad and sound since the show stopped in 2008. Last week I questioned the report of a quarter-million-jobs gained in February. Should not have, as confirming data have arrived. The NFIB survey of small business reversed a downtrend, still in recession but brightening in February. Retail sales outperformed all guesses by miles, jumping 1.1%. And new claims for unemployment insurance have fallen to a lower range, about 340,000 weekly, not far from normal. Despite that strength, the Treasury this week easily auctioned $21 billion in new 10-year notes and $13 billion in 30-year bonds. Markets had two supports: faith that the Fed will stay easy, and demand from overseas.
Mortgage interest rates improved slightly on the week despite mostly stronger than expected economic data. Currently, a Conventional 30 year fixed rate is hovering around 3.75% with no points.
** Mortgage rates are subject to daily market fluctuations and can change without notice. Mortgage rates are also effected by down payment, occupancy, loan amount, credit score and property type.
Premier Lending LLC
Owner and Founder
RE/MAX of Boulder