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Mark Hemingway

Mortgage Market Update for March 12th

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - Article by: Mark Hemingway - Security Financial Services, LLC - Message

Inflation at the consumer level remained tame in February due in part to modest gains in the costs of food, gasoline and rents. The February Consumer Price Index rose month-over-month for the first time since October up 0.2%, in line with estimates. On an annual basis, CPI rose 1.5%, the smallest annual increase in 2-1/2 years. Core CPI, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.1% versus 0.2% expected and up 2.1% annually from 2.2% in January. The tame inflation data backs up the call for no rate hikes anytime soon and most likely for all of 2019.

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index edged higher in February though below the all-time highs seen this past summer. The NFIB also reported that small job creation broke a 45-year record in February as the labor market continues to strengthen. "Small business owners are thankful to have the government shutdown in the rear view mirror but need more certainty about the future," said NFIB President and CEO Juanita D. Duggan. "The best thing Washington can do for the small business half of the economy is to continue the policies - tax cuts and deregulation - that leave them with more resources to invest and find qualified workers."

Home owners on the brink of foreclosure edged lower in December as incomes and home-price growth continues. CoreLogic reports that the 30-days or more delinquency rate was 4.1% in December, down 1.2% from December 2017. In addition, the report showed that all states saw serious delinquency rates decrease except for North Dakota, which remained the same. The serious delinquency rate is defined as 90 days or more past due including loans in foreclosure.

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