Mortgage Market News

Inflation at the consumer level was tame in November, but an underlying measure of inflation continues to edge higher. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was unchanged last month due to lower gas and food costs. However, when stripping out volatile food and energy, the so-called Core CPI rose 0.2% on higher rental costs and hotel rates. On an annual basis, the Core CPI was up 2% and has been trending higher.
The manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy continued to contract in December due to a strong dollar, a weak global economy and low oil and other commodity prices. The New York State Manufacturing Index registered a -4.6 reading this month, which was better than the -5.9 expected and above the -10.7 recorded in November. Just recently the national manufacturing index, the ISM Index, contracted to 48.6% in November, the lowest level since June 2009.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported that builder confidence slipped in December due to recent concerns with the high price of lots and labor. The NAHB Housing Market Index fell 1 point to 61 this month, below the 62 in November and below the 63 expected. “For the past seven months, builder confidence levels have averaged in the low 60s, which is in line with a gradual, consistent recovery,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “With job creation, economic growth and growing household formations, we anticipate the housing market to continue to pick up traction as we head into 2016.”
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