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Mark Hemingway

Mortgage Market Update for April 11th

Thursday, April 11, 2019 - Article by: Mark Hemingway - Security Financial Services, LLC - Message

Inflation at the wholesale level pushed higher in March fueled by higher energy costs. The Producer Price Index heated up in March rising 0.6% from February's gain of 0.1%. It was the largest increase in five months and comes after CPI had its biggest increase in 12 months. However, the Fed's favorite gauge on inflation, Core PCE, is running at 1.9% year-over-year, slightly beneath the Fed's target of 2.00%.

Mortgage rates remained near lows seen in January 2018, though they did inch higher over the latest week. Freddie Mac reports that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose four basis points to 4.12%, well below the 4.94% seen the week ended November 8, 2018. The current rate comes with an average point of 0.50. Last year this time, the rate was 4.42%. Freddie Mac expects mortgage rates to remain low, boosting homebuyer demand in the next few months.

Labor market news remained strong today as the sector continues its winning ways. The Labor Department reports that Weekly Initial Jobless Claims fell to 196,000 in the latest week to lows seen in the late 1960s. To put it into perspective as to how strong the labor market is - the population in the late 1960s was 202 million compared to the current 327 million - so today's 196,000 print is off a much larger labor pool.

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