In this week’s economic review, job openings trumped the number of actively looking unemployed, consumer prices saw the biggest year-over-year gain in six years, and mortgage rates held steady.
Job Openings & Hiring
Job openings fell back in May but remain plentiful at 6.638 million. April’s job openings were upwardly revised to a record high of 6.840 million. Year-over-year openings are up 16.7 percent and have left hiring, at 5.754 million, trailing behind.
Not only are job openings gaining a substantial lead above hiring, the number of openings is now above the number of actively looking unemployed (6.564 million).
The quit rate, which signals job market confidence, is up 1 tenth to 2.4 percent.
Consumer Price Index
The Consumer Price Index inched just 0.1 percent higher in June and 0.2 percent for the core reading, but year-over-year the CPI has increase 2.9 percent – the biggest yearly gain since February 2012. Core CPI (CPI minus food and energy components) is up 2.3 percent year-over-year, which is the largest increase since January 2017.
July’s preliminary report shows weakening, down 1.1 points to 97.1. The weakness is centered in current conditions, down 2.6 points to 113.9. Expectations are respectable and steady at 86.4.
This week in the economy:
- As of July 12th, the 30-year average fixed rate was 4.53% with 0.4 points, according to Freddie Mac.
- In the week of July 11th, purchase applications rose a sharp seasonally adjusted 7 percent, according the Mortgage Bankers Association. Refinancing applications continued to decline with a 4 percent drop to the lowest level since December 2000. Unadjusted, purchase applications are 8 percent higher than a year ago, while the refinancing index is at its lowest share of mortgage activity since August 2008.
- In the week of July 7th, initial jobless claims fell a sizeable 18,000 to a level of 214,000. The drop pulled down the 4-week average by 1,750 to 223,000.
- The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index increased 0.4 points in the week of July 8thto a level of 58.
The economic calendar for the week of July 16th, 2018:
- Monday – Retail Sales
- Tuesday– Housing Market Index
- Wednesday – MBA Mortgage Applications, Housing Starts
- Thursday–Jobless Claims, Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index
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