Last Monday, Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer elaborated on the Fed’s plans for monetary policy, stating that it is “widely expected” the Fed will begin to raise the federal funds rate this year. Optimism about the Fed’s plans for monetary policy helped improve mortgage rates early last week but gains were lost later in the week, resulting in a very slight increase in the national average mortgage rate.
The Consumer Price Index increased for the first time since October 2014. The release of New Home Sales data was positive as sales picked up sharply in February to a 539,000 annual rate, the second 500,000 reading since May 2008.
Last week in the economy:
- The S&P 500 started the week at 2,108, dropping 2.23% and ended the week at 2,061.
- Mortgage rates (the national average) increased 0.02% (2 basis points) last week.
- Consumer Price Index rebounded 0.2% in February after a sharp fall of .7% in January.
- New Home Sales increased 8% in February to the highest point since February 2008. New home sales were up 25% from one year ago.
- Existing home sales were 5% higher than they were at this time last year.
- Fourth quarter GDP growth was unrevised overall. The economy grew 2.2% in the fourth quarter, with expectations for a 2.4% increase.
- Jobless claims fell 9,000 in the week of March 21 to 282,000, driving down the 4-week average, but is still slightly higher than the month-ago comparison.
What's on the economic calendar for the week of March 30, 2015:
- Monday: Pending Home Sales data will be released.
- Tuesday: Consumer Confidence Index will be announced.
- Wednesday: MBA Mortgage Applications data will be released.
- Thursday: Jobless Claims will be issued.
- Friday: Employment Situation will be updated.
If you enjoyed our economic review, you can get economic updates e-mailed to you weekly by clicking the button below: