Posts Tagged ‘employment report’

What time is it? It’s Mortgage Time.

February 11, 2014
MORTGAGE TIME
Mortgage Market News for the week of Feb. 7, 2014
Compliments of:

 

Patrick Gardner
Mortgage Loan Officer
NMLS ID: 378888
415-423-1424
Email me
Visit my website

 


JOBS AND MANUFACTURING FALL SHORT
This week’s key economic data showed that the performance of the economy in January was weaker than expected. The shortfalls caused stocks to decline and mortgage rates to improve, but the impact was surprisingly small.

Both the Employment report and the ISM Manufacturing data saw big misses. Against a consensus forecast of 185K, the economy added just 113K jobs in January. Also disappointing, many investors had hoped to see a large upward revision to the weak December reading, but it was little changed. The ISM national manufacturing index declined sharply to 51.3, far below the consensus of 56.0. For perspective, the increase in jobs reflects improvement in the labor market, and readings above 50.0 indicate an expansion in the manufacturing sector. The issue is that the pace of economic growth has slowed.

The relatively minor impact of this week’s data must be considered in light of the performance of the stock and mortgage markets so far this year. Entering the week, stocks had experienced significant losses, as the Dow was down roughly 5% in January. Similarly, mortgage rates have seen significant improvement since the start of the year. To some degree, investors were already positioned for weak data this week. In addition, questions about the effect of unusually severe weather caused some investors to question how accurately recent data reflects the underlying strength of the economy.

ALSO NOTABLE
The Unemployment Rate fell to the lowest level since October 2008
The 2013 Trade Deficit was the smallest since 2009
The Treasury will auction $70 billion in securities next week
The European Central Bank (ECB) made no change in rates

 

WEEK AHEAD
Next week, Janet Yellen, the new Fed chair, will testify before Congress on Tuesday and Thursday, and her comments could influence mortgage rates. The most significant economic report will be the Retail Sales data on Thursday. Retail Sales account for about 70% of economic activity. Before that, the JOLTS report, measuring job openings and labor turnover, will come out on Tuesday. Industrial Production, Import Prices, and Consumer Sentiment will be released on Friday. In addition, there will be Treasury auctions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

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Rates at 2014 Lows – Mortgage Time

January 28, 2014
MORTGAGE TIME
Mortgage Market News for the week of Jan. 10, 2014
Compliments of:
Patrick Gardner
Mortgage Loan Officer
NMLS ID: 378888
415-423-1424
Email me
Visit my website

 

JOB GAINS FALL SHORT
Investors were focused on the strength of the labor market this week. A strong reading for job gains in Wednesday’s ADP report caused mortgage rates to move a little higher. The ADP data turned out to be a poor indicator for Friday’s weaker than expected Employment report, however, and mortgage rates ended the week lower.

Against a consensus forecast of 200K, the economy added just 74K jobs in November. This was the smallest monthly increase in jobs since January 2011. Given that several other labor market indicators showed greater strength in December, many investors were skeptical about how accurately the data reflects the strength of the labor market. For one thing, bad weather likely was a factor in the shortfall, as the construction sector was particularly weak. Upward revisions to the November data also partly offset the December results, leaving average gains of about 160K over the last two months. Bottom line, though, the report fell short of expectations, causing mortgage rates to move lower after the news.

In another twist, the Unemployment Rate unexpectedly declined from 7.0% to 6.7%, the lowest level since October 2008. Looking below the surface, reported job gains accounted for just 0.1% of the decline, while a large group of people leaving the labor force was responsible for the remaining 0.2% decline. While the headline Employment report is based on data collected from just large employers, the Unemployment Rate is derived from a separate survey of individual households. According to this survey, there were job gains of about 150K in December, while roughly 350K people were no longer seeking work and thus were removed from the labor force. Since the Unemployment Rate is simply the number people in the labor force seeking work divided by the total labor force, it counts equally whether a person stops seeking work by finding a job, giving up on the job search, or retiring.

ALSO NOTABLE
The Trade Deficit declined to the lowest level since October 2009
The European Central Bank (ECB) made no change in rates
Mel Watt was sworn in for a five-year term as Director of the FHFA
Janet Yellen was confirmed to be the next Chair of the Fed

WEEK AHEAD
The most significant economic data next week will be the Retail Sales data and the monthly inflation reports. Retail Sales account for about 70% of economic activity and will be released on Tuesday. The Producer Price Index (PPI) focuses on the increase in prices of “intermediate” goods used by companies to produce finished products and will come out on Wednesday. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), the most closely watched monthly inflation report, will come out on Thursday. CPI looks at the price change for finished goods which are sold to consumers. Housing Starts and Industrial Production will come out on Friday. Import Prices, Philly Fed, Empire State, Consumer Sentiment, and the Fed’s Beige Book will round out a busy schedule.

Your Weekly Mortgage Time is Here…Late, but here Nonetheless

January 20, 2014
MORTGAGE TIME
Mortgage Market News for the week of Jan. 17, 2014
Compliments of:
Patrick Gardner
Mortgage Loan Officer
NMLS ID: 378888
415-423-1424
Email me
Visit my website

INFLATION REMAINS TAME
Mortgage rates began the week with downward momentum following last Friday’s big miss on the Employment report. That, combined with low inflation, more than offset this week’s slightly stronger than expected economic growth data, and mortgage rates ended the week a little lower.

With the Fed’s recent decision to reduce its bond purchases, investors were left evaluating what they believed to be the appropriate level of mortgage rates for the current economic environment. In short, moderate economic growth and low inflation represent relatively favorable conditions for mortgage rates. This week, the December Retail Sales report revealed gains consistent with moderate growth. Since Retail Sales account for about 70% of economic activity, investors pay close attention to this data. Two of the more significant monthly inflation reports also were released this week, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Producer Price Index (PPI), and both confirmed that inflation remains tame. Core CPI was just 1.7% higher than one year ago, well below the Fed’s target level of 2.0%, while Core PPI was even lower at 1.4% on an annual basis.

JOLTS, another report released this week, is quickly gaining prominence with investors because it is considered to be a favorite of incoming Fed Chair Janet Yellen. The JOLTS survey measures Job Openings and Labor Turnover levels, providing another level of insight into labor market conditions. Since the Unemployment Rate has been heavily influenced recently by people leaving the labor force rather than by job gains, investors and Fed officials are eager for additional details to judge the strength of the labor market. The November JOLTS data showed that Job Openings unexpectedly rose to the highest level since March 2008. The percentage of people quitting their jobs was nearly unchanged.

ALSO NOTABLE
The Empire State index rose to the highest level since May 2012
Capacity Utilization increased to the highest level since May 2008
The Fed’s Beige Book reported moderate economic growth
Unemployment in the euro zone remained at a record high 12.1%

WEEK AHEAD
The Economic Calendar will be nearly empty next week. Existing Home Sales, Leading Indicators, and Jobless Claims will be released on Thursday. Mortgage markets will be closed on Monday in Observance of MLK Day.

Mortgage Time

November 1, 2013
MORTGAGE TIME
Mortgage Market News for the week of Nov. 1, 2013
Compliments of:
Patrick Gardner

Mortgage Loan Officer
NMLS ID: 378888

415-423-1424
Email me
Visit my website

MANUFACTURING ACTIVITY IMPROVES
It was a relatively quiet week for mortgage rates. A slightly more bullish economic outlook from the Fed and stronger than expected manufacturing data were the main influences this week. Good news for the economy is negative for mortgage rates, however, and rates ended the week a little higher.

As widely expected, there was no change in Fed policy at Wednesday’s Fed meeting, but Fed officials slightly upgraded their outlook for the economy from the prior statement. Fed officials again stated that they intend to wait for signs of sustained improvement in the labor market before they reduce their bond purchases. The consensus view is that the Fed will begin to scale back its bond purchases in April. The statement left the door open for an earlier start of the taper if the economic data is strong enough.

Early in the week, there were few surprises in the economic data and little movement in rates. That changed, though, when stronger than expected manufacturing data pushed mortgage rates higher on Thursday and Friday. The October ISM national manufacturing index rose to the highest level since April 2011, and the October Chicago PMI regional manufacturing index jumped to the highest level since March 2011. The consensus forecasts had been for lower readings due to the government shutdown at the beginning of the month. Investors will be watching to see if other sectors of the economy were similarly unaffected by the shutdown.

ALSO NOTABLE

Core CPI inflation was just 1.7% higher than one year ago
The Capacity Utilization Rate rose to the highest level since July 2008
Eurozone unemployment remained at a record high level of 12.2%
Oil prices dropped to the lowest level in four months


WEEK AHEAD

Two big reports will dominate the economic news next week. Third quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the broadest measure of economic growth, will be released on Thursday. The Employment report will come out on Friday. As usual, this data on the number of jobs, the Unemployment Rate, and wage inflation will be the most highly anticipated economic data of the month, and it will carry even more weight than normal due to how it will influence Fed policy. Core PCE inflation, Personal Income, and Consumer Sentiment also will be released on Friday. ISM Services, Factory Orders, Leading Indicators, and the Trade Balance are scheduled earlier in the week. Mortgage markets will be closed on Monday in observance of Veterans Day.