More positive news on the employment and labor front last week as job openings surged to 5.376 million in April, according to the Labor Department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.
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April's job openings flew past the Econoday consensus for 5.038 million and the high estimate of 5.050 million. That data was the highest job openings have been since December 2000. The JOLTS report also showed a high willingness of employees to voluntarily leave their current jobs. This indicates a higher rate of confidence in the labor market.
While gains in labor and employment data are signs of a recovering economy, it also raises expectations of future inflation, which causes mortgage rates to increase. This week, though, mortgage rates ended the week a little lower.
Last week in the economy:
- Mortgage rates (the national average) fell 0.07% (7 basis points).
- The purchase index of MBA Mortgage Applications was up 10% in the June 5 week and the refinance index was up 7%.
- Initial Jobless Claims were up only marginally in the June 6 week to 279,000. Jobless claims continue to run at extreme lows.
- Retail sales showed significant improvement in May. Overall, retail sales were up 1.2%, sweeping nearly all categories. Motor vehicle sales jumped the most, with a 2% gain.
- Consumer sentiment was back on the climb, increasing nearly 4 points to 94.6. The gain comes directly from the current conditions component, which offers an indication for June-to-May consumer strength.
What's on the economic calendar for the week of June 15, 2015:
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