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Mark Hemingway

Mortgage Market Update for January 12th

Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - Article by: Mark Hemingway - Security Financial Services, LLC - Message

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell 5.5 points in December to 95.9 and below the average Index value since 1973 of 98. Nine of the 10 Index components decreased with one improving. NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said, "Small businesses are concerned about potential new economic policy in the new administration and the increased spread of COVID-19 that is causing renewed government-mandated business closures across the nation."

The MBA reports that mortgage credit availability remained tight in December. The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) in December was 122.1 and above August's 118.6 which was the tightest credit conditions since February 2014. A decline in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening, while increases in the index are indicative of loosening credit. The Conventional MCAI fell by 2.8%, while the Government MCAI rose by 2.1%.

Commodity prices continue to push higher. After hitting -$40.32/barrel back in April, WTI oil has risen to $52.79. As more economies strengthen, the oil demand will increase along with the price. Oil is in many products - this is just another inflationary measure. With oil prices increasing, gas prices have been on the rise. The national average price for a regular gallon of gasoline is at $2.33, up from $2.16 a month ago.

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