Mortgage rates increased slightly this week as comments from a Fed official increased expectations for the forthcoming rate hike this year.
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July employment data met the consensus forecast. While the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.3%, wages showed up uptick of 0.2 percent with a year-over-year rate up 2 percent.
Friday's employment report was in line with some of the Fed's stipulations for an increase in the short-term rate hike. Because of solid job growth and no sign of wage or inflation pressure, Fed member Dennis Lockhart indicated the rate hike is likely to take place soon.
Last week in the economy:
- Mortgage rates (the national average) increased 0.03% (3 basis points).
- The S&P 500 ended the week at 2,078, down 1.23%.
- After weeks of volatility, the purchase index of MBA Mortgage Applications was up 3% in the July 31 weeks. The refinancing index also rose 6%. Purchase applications are up 23 percent versus this time last year, a positive indication for home sales.
- Consumer Credit increased a strong $20.7 billion for June.
- Initial Jobless Claims remain extremely low. The 4-week average is down 3,750 to 274,750, which is the lowest since mid-June.
- The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index moved lower to the second lowest reading since November. The random-sample survey, which tracks Americans' views on the condition of the US economy specifically indicated concerns over personal finances.
- Gallup's U.S. Job Creation Index maintained its record high in July of plus 42 for the third month in a row. The score is based on 43% of workers saying their employer is hiring workers.
What's on the economic calendar for the week of August 10, 2015:
Wednesday: MBA Mortgage Applications and JOLTS will be updated.
Thursday: Jobless Claims and Retail Sales will be released.
Friday: Consumer Sentiment will be updated.
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