Monday, December 2, 2013 - Article by: Richard Airey - First Financial Mortgage -
The Institute for Supply Management reported today that its ISM Manufacturing Index, which covers activity across the nation, rose to its highest level since April of 2011 to 57.3. Within the report it showed that the employment component registered 58.3, an increase of 3.3%, which was the highest reading since April of 2012. Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 15 reported growth in November.Home loan rates are expected to rise and approach 5% by the second half of 2014, says Frank Nothaft, the chief economist of Freddie Mac. Mr. Nothaft cites the pullback in the Federal Reserve's stimulus program the key factor in the outlook for rates in 2014. Once the Federal Reserve begins to taper its purchases, yields will begin to rise and push home loan rates higher.The Black Friday numbers are in, showing an uptick in foot traffic, but sales fell by 2.9% this year from 2012, reports the National Retail Federation (NRF). Sales were estimated at $57.4 from Thanksgiving Day through Sunday, December 2, down from $59.1 billion from the same period in 2012. The NRF said the decline was due in part to tighter budgets for consumers, coupled with shopping ahead of the late Thanksgiving holiday this year.
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