Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - Article by: Richard Airey - First Financial Mortgage -
The Mortgage Bankers Association reported today that its Market Composite Index, a measure of total loan application volume, fell by 7% in the latest week as consumers head into the holiday shopping season. The refinance index fell by nearly 8% while the purchase index declined by 5.2%. The recent rise in home loan rates is also a big factor in the decline in applications.Over in the labor markets, outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that planned layoffs across the U.S. rose by 13.5% in October from September. There were 40,289 layoffs announced in September while October's number rose to 45,730. However, there was some light at the end of the tunnel - from October 2012 to October 2013, planned layoffs fell by 4.2%. The layoffs in October were concentrated in the pharmaceutical and financial industries.Prices at the pump continue to decline across the U.S. as supplies grow and as demand slips after the summer driving season ended. The national average price for a regular gallon of gasoline is at $3.24, the lowest level this year. In many states, the price has hit $3 or below. Analysts see the low prices lasting through the winter and into next year and don't anticipate a rise until near Valentine's Day, when the spring and summer driving season begins.
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