Last week’s economic reports included readings on inflation, the minutes of the most recent meeting of the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee and weekly reports on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims. The University of Michigan released its Consumer Sentiment Index for April. Continue reading
Last week’s economic reports included readings on construction spending, mortgage rates and weekly jobless claims. Other labor-related claims included ADP payrolls, Non-Farm Payrolls and the national unemployment rate. Continue reading
Last week’s economic releases included readings from Case-Shiller, pending home sales, and consumer sentiment. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released. Continue reading
Last week’s economic releases included readings on new and pre-owned home sales and the Federal Open Market Committee’s customary post meeting statement. Fed Chair Jerome Powell gave his first press conference as Chair of the Federal Reserve and FOMC. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released. Continue reading
Last week’s economic releases included readings on pending home sales, Case-Shiller Home Price Indices and construction spending. The Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve released its monthly statement and weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were released. Last week’s economic readings wrapped with a report on consumer confidence. Continue reading
Eariler this week, the Federal Reserve released the minutes from its 2-day meeting which ended August 1, 2012. Since the release, mortgage rates have dropped.
The Fed Minutes are released on a schedule, three weeks after the FOMC adjourns from one of its 8 scheduled meetings of the year.
The Fed Minutes are meeting minutes; like you’d see after a corporation shareholder meeting, or after a condo board meeting. Specifically, the Fed Minutes details the conversations among Federal Reserve members which shape our nation’s economic policy.
The most recent Fed Minutes show a central bank closer to adding new market stimulus than previously believed.
At its last meeting, the Federal Reserve’s debate focused on the rate of economic growth and whether it was occurring too slowly to be long-lasting. The Fed appears to think so. Without a “substantial and sustainable strengthening” in the pace of economic expansion, it said, additional monetary stimulus would be “warranted fairly soon”.
Other notes from within the Fed Minutes included :
- On employment : Unemployment rates will “decline only slowly”
- On housing : The market appears “to have improved, somewhat”
- On inflation : Retail energy costs are keeping consumer prices low
However, the Fed expressed an “unusually high level of uncertainty” about its assessments owing to the ongoing European sovereign debt problems. “Spillovers” remain possible and default threats continue to weigh on markets.
The Federal Reserve’s next scheduled meeting is September 12-13, 2012.
Since the minutes were released — and for the first time this month — mortgage rates in Georgia made a big move lower. This is in contrast to the rest of August through which mortgage rates have climbed steadily.
According to Freddie Mac, on August 1, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate was 3.49% nationwide. Today, the rate is 3.66%. Between now and the Fed’s next policy-making meeting September 13, though, mortgage rates are subject to change. If today’s mortgage rates fit your budget, consider locking in.
For more information about the Atlanta area real estate market, please email me at email@example.com or call me at 404.918.2500.
In Washington, D.C. today, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) begins a 2-day meeting, its fifth of 8 scheduled meetings this year.
Mortgage rates are expected to change upon the FOMC’s adjournment. Rate shoppers and home buyers of Metro Atlanta would do well to be alert.
The Federal Open Market Committee is a rotating 12-person subcommittee within the Federal Reserve. It’s the group which makes U.S. monetary policy.
“Making monetary policy” has many meanings but the action for which the FOMC is most well-known is its setting of the Fed Funds Funds. The Fed Funds Rate is the prescribed interest rate at which banks borrow money from each other overnight.
Since late-2008, the Fed Funds Rate has been near zero percent.
The Fed Funds Rate and Freddie Mac’s 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate move along different paths. Sometimes, the two converge. Other times, they diverge. They’ve been separated by as much as 529 basis points in the past 12 years, and they’ve have been as near to each other as 52 basis points.
Clearly, there’s no correlation between the Fed’s Fed Funds Rate and the common 30-year mortgage. However, with its words, the Federal Reserve can influence the direction in which mortgage rates move — on occasion, by a lot.
We’ll be witness to this Wednesday.
When the FOMC adjourns, it is expected to announce no change in the Fed Funds Rate. Yet, based on the verbiage of the post-meeting statement, mortgage rates will rise or fall accordingly. If the Fed notes that the economy is sagging and that new stimulus is planned, mortgage rates are expected to drop throughout Georgia. This is because new, Fed-led stimulus would be a boon for mortgage markets which would, in turn, drive mortgage rates down.
Conversely, if the Fed acknowledges growth in the U.S. economy and/or little need for new stimulus, mortgage rates are expected to rise.
Either way, expect rates to change — we just can’t know in what direction. The FOMC adjourns at 2:15 PM Wednesday.