Last week’s economic news included readings on job openings and inflation. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released.
April Inflation Falls Short of Expectations
The Consumer Price Index for April fell by 0.10 percent to 0.30 percent. Analysts expected a reading of 0.40 percent, which hatched the March reading. The Core Consumer Price Index excludes volatile food and fuel sectors; core inflation grew by 0.10 percent in April, which matched the March reading and fell short of the expected growth rate of 0.20 percent.
The Federal Reserve has set an annual inflation rate of 2.00 percent as a benchmark reading for achieving its mandate of price stabilization.
Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Fall
Freddie Mac reported lower average mortgage rates last week as rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages dropped four basis points to 4.10 percent; rates for 15-year fixed rate mortgages fell three basis points to 3.57 percent on average. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages were five basis points lower and averaged 3.63 percent.
Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for 30-year fixed rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 15-year fixed rate mortgages and 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.
Freddie Mac analysts said that low mortgage rates would support continued growth in the housing market. Slowing rates of home price growth and lower mortgage rates should help to balance market conditions between sellers and home buyers.
Low mortgage rates, strong job markets and steady wage growth provide a solid basis for first-time home buyers to enter the housing market, but affordability remains an obstacle for first-time and moderate income home buyers.
New jobless claims fell by 2000 claims to 228,000 claims filed. Analysts expected a reading of 218,000 new claims filed Analysts said the spike was caused by the late Easter holiday’s impact on seasonal adjustments to jobless claims.
This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on housing markets from the National Association of Home Builders, Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued will be issued along with a report on consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims will also be released.