Weekly Economic Review: Strong November Labor Report Released, Mortgage Rates Up

Posted by Laine Smith on 12/4/15 2:52 PM

Topics: Economy

Mortgage rates ended the week a little higher, impacted mostly by a smaller-than-expected European Central Bank stimulus package. Friday's labor market report had little impact on mortgage rates, though it showed signs of solid payroll growth for November.

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Though November earnings data, a proxy for wage grow, saw a 0.2% increase, it is down from the 0.4% October gain. Year-over-year earnings data is down 0.2% to 2.3 percent. Non-farm payrolls increase a solid 211,000 in November and the unemployment rate held steady at a low 5 percent. This employment reading has many investors certain a Fed rate hike is in order at the December meeting.

The pending home sales index indicates the housing market won't be seeing an increase in existing home sales any time soon. That National Association of Realtors has cited low supply of available homes and rising home prices as a reason for low sales. Regardless, the index is up 3.9% year-over-year.

Last week in the economy:

  • Mortgage rates (the national average) increased 0.03% (3 basis points).
  • The purchase index of MBA Mortgage Applications increased sharply in the November 27 week by 8%. Year-over-year purchase applications are up an impressive 30%. The refinance index fell by 6%.
  • The construction spending report is one of the highlights of the housing market as spending on residential construction is up 1% in October for a seventh consecutive month of gains.
  • Initial Jobless Claims increased a minimal 9,000 in the November 28 week but still remain near historic lows and continue to indicate strength in the labor market.

What's on the economic calendar for the week of December 7, 2015:

Wednesday: MBA Mortgage Applications

Thursday: Jobless Claims & Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index

Friday: Retail Sales and Consumer Sentiment

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