Mortgage rates had a terrible week last week in reaction to much stronger than expected job numbers. The Department of Labor’s Non-farm Payrolls report for February surpassed expectations with 236,000 new jobs reported against expectations of 170,000 new jobs expected by Wall Street.
This stronger than expected showing in jobs numbers points to a stronger economy and may lead to less pressure to hold mortgage interest rates lower. The Unemployment Report for February also provided good news as February’s reading dropped to 7.7 percent from January’s unemployment rate of 7.9 percent.
While good news, it’s important to bear in mind that the Fed has established and unemployment rate of 6.5 percent as a benchmark for ceasing its monetary stimulus program. Now if you drill down deeper you will see some indications that the number is not as strong as it appears (300,000 people leaving the work force for example).
Busy Week In Financial News
This week has a busy calendar of scheduled economic news; here are a few highlights:
- Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: Treasury Auctions
- Wednesday: Retail Sales, and Retail Sales without Auto Sales
- Thursday: Producers Price Index (PPI) and Core PPI (PPI without volatile food and energy sectors)
- Thursday: Weekly Jobless Claims, Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Core CPI (without food and energy sectors)
- Friday: Consumer Sentiment
It will be interesting to see how or if Consumer Sentiment reacts to recent signs supporting progress toward economic recovery.
Even with the increase in rates we’ve seen over the past 2 months rates are still fantastic. Don’t miss this chance to take advantage of these historic low rates.