The FOMC of the Federal Reserve released its customary statement after its meeting concluded April 30.
FOMC members said that the economy is improving after a winter lull caused by poor weather. The national unemployment rate remains high, although some improvement in labor markets was reported. Fiscal policy is restraining economic growth, although FOMC said that the restraint is diminishing.
FOMC Monitors Inflation, Further Reduces Asset Purchases
The FOMC statement reflected members’ concerns about the inflation rate remaining below its goal of two percent, and said that this could eventually impact economic recovery. The Fed expects inflation to approach its goal within the “medium term.” Continue reading
According to a statement provided by the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve, the committee has approved another reduction of the Fed’s monthly asset purchases.
The adjustment will be made in February and cuts monthly purchases of mortgage backed securities from $35 billion to $30 billion and monthly purchases of Treasury securities from $40 billion to $35 billion. Continue reading
Housing Starts exceeded expectations and also beat October’s reading of 889,000. November housing starts were posted at 1.09 million against a consensus of 963,000.
This reading is more in line with the NAHB/Wells Fargo Home builder Market Index, which reached a four month high with December’s reading.
With that threat resolved and a new federal budget passed, builders can now proceed without worrying about setbacks caused by government shutdowns and legislative gridlock.
Building permits issued in November were slightly lower at 1.01 million than October’s reading of 1.04 million. Viewed as an indicator of future construction, and ultimately, available homes, it is not unusual for construction and permits to slow during the winter months. Continue reading
The minutes of last month’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting show significant support for tapering the Fed’s current amount of monthly securities purchases. These purchases, known as quantitative easing (QE), are an effort to maintain lower long-term interest rates including mortgage rates.
The Fed has been buying $85 billion per month in Treasury securities and mortgage-backed securities (MBS).
Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve and FOMC has hinted at “tapering” the Fed’s securities purchases by year-end in recent statements. The FOMC minutes released Wednesday further suggest that tapering based on strengthening economic trends is likely. Continue reading
There was potentially good news for mortgage rates on Wednesday as the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced that its quantitative easing (QE) program would remain unchanged for the present.
Economists expect the Fed to begin tapering the amount of QE toward the end of the year in accordance with Chairman Ben Bernanke’s previous statements that “tapering” would likely begin near year-end.
No specific date for reducing the QE assets purchases was given.
Chairman Bernanke has previously indicated that the Fed will closely review domestic and global economic developments as part of its decision-making process for changing the QE program. Wednesday’s FOMC statement reaffirmed this plan. Continue reading
FOMC Minutes Suggest QE Tapering by Year-End
The minutes for June’s meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) suggest that committee members are mostly in agreement that the current quantitative easing program (QE) should begin winding down by year end, but the committee minutes are very clear concerning the committee’s intention to monitor inflation and ongoing economic and financial developments before taking action to reduce the current rate of QE. Continue reading
Minutes of the April/May Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) recently released may have a significant impact on mortgage rates going forward. One significant development from the meeting suggests that the present quantitative easing (QE) program may be modified in the near future.
The current QE program involves the Fed purchasing $85 billion per month in mortgage backed securities (MBS) and Treasury bonds. The Fed’s goal with QE is keeping long-term interest rates, including mortgage rates, low. Continue reading