Welcome to the Total Mortgage Current Mortgage Rates Blog. There’s some economic data out today, but first, your daily mortgage rate forecast/advice.
Where are mortgage rates going?
Fed Chair Janet Yellen moved markets yesterday when she said that it would be “unwise” to wait too long to raise the federal funds rate again. Her remarks were made during day one of her semiannual testimony before the Senate Banking Committee. Investors had been eagerly waiting to see if she would make any statements that kept the next meeting in March in play.Click here to get today’s latest mortgage rates (Nov. 17, 2019).
The outlook for March had turned sour after what was seen as an overtly cautious message in the Fed’s statement from their February meeting a couple weeks ago. Yellen’s remarks yesterday definitely changed the course of things, but to say that March is firmly on the table might be an overstatement.
While Yellen can say that “every meeting is a live meeting”, financial market participants aren’t overly confident that any action will be taken next month. The Fed Fund futures currently gives the March meeting a 26.6% chance of a rate hike. While that might be well above the 8% that it was at a few days ago, it is still a very pessimistic reading.Click here to get today’s latest mortgage rates (Nov. 17, 2019).
The effect on the markets was unsurprising: treasury yields and mortgage rates ticked up a few basis points. Strong economic data this morning has continued to keep things higher. Janet Yellen speaks again today, but investors have already gotten what they wanted, and will shift their attention back to the White House.
What does this mean for me?
Mortgage rates are rising again. There will certainly be moments of volatility where they slide back down, but the overall trend seems to be for rates to move higher. My recommendation is for anyone looking to refinance their current mortgage or lock in a rate on a purchase to act sooner rather than later.
Today’s economic data:
The Consumer Price Index rose 0.6% in January. That’s higher than the 0.3% that was expected. Year over year, CPI is now at 2.5%. CPI less food and energy rose 0.3%, making it 2.3% year over year. It’s a very strong report, with the monthly gain the largest in nearly four years. The Fed closesly watches inflation, and this type of upward pressure is the type of event that feeds into raising rates more quickly.
Retail Sales are strong
Retail sales went up 0.4% in January. That is significantly higher than the 0.1% that economists expected. Retail sales less autos rose 0.8%. Less autos and gas they ticked up 0.7%. It’s another solid report that points toward a strong U.S. economy.
Industrial production was expected to come in flat, but instead it fell 0.3% in January. Manufacturing rose 0.2%. The capacity utilization rate is now 75.3%.
Janet Yellen will speak before the House Financial Services Committee today. We will also hear from Eric Rosengren, Partick Harker, and William Dudley today.
EIA Petroleum Status
For the week of 2/10:
- Crude oil: 13.8 M barrels
- Gasoline: -0.9 M barrels
- Distillates: 0.0 M barrels
Notable events this week:
- Retail Sales
- Industrial Production
- EIA Petroleum Status
- Housing Starts
- Jobless Claims
- Philly Fed Outlook
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