Weekly Economic Review: Labor Demand Positive, Retails Sales & Mortgage Rates Cool

Posted by Laine Smith on 11/13/15 1:34 PM

Topics: Economy

Following an increase after the Fed's announcement of a looming December rate hike, mortgage rates cooled this week. Shortfalls in retail sales and weak economic data in Europe helped slow the rising rate trend.

Economic Update 11-13-15

Image courtesy of ddpavumba at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey showed positivity for labor demand, increasing to 5.526 million from a revised 5.377 million in August. The quit rate for September remained stubbornly low for a sixth consecutive month at 1.9 percent, which is a contrasting indication of worker hesitance.

After a strong summer in retail spending, sales gains slowed in October with a small increase of 0.1 percent. Disregarding vehicle and gas station sales, retail activity increased a respectable 0.3 percent for the month. Indications of strength in the labor market could point to gains in the coming months for overall retail sales.

Last week in the economy:

  • Mortgage rates (the national average) fell 0.02% (2 basis points).
  • MBA Mortgage Applications settled for a second straight week after volatile jumps following the enactment of new lending disclosure rules. The purchase index increased 0.1% and the refinance index fell 0.2%.
  • Initial Jobless Claims remained unchanged for a second week at 276,000 which is the highest level run in two months.
  • Consumer Sentiment increased drastically this month to 93.1 in the highest reading since July.

What's on the economic calendar for the week of November 16, 2015:

Tuesday: Consumer Price Index

Wednesday: MBA Mortgage Applications, Housing Starts & FOMC Minutes

Thursday: Jobless Claims & Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index

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