Mortgage Rate Predictions for the Week of September 11, 2023

Last week’s economic reporting was somewhat subdued due to the observance of the U.S. Labor Day holiday on Monday. Nevertheless, there were notable updates from various fronts, including the Federal Reserve’s release of its Beige Book report, along with the latest insights into mortgage rates and jobless claims.

Federal Reserve Unveils Beige Book Insights

The Beige Book report serves as a concise summary of invaluable information collected from business and professional contacts by Federal Reserve policymakers. Highlights from the September edition of the Beige Book report revealed:

  • A surge in consumer spending on leisure activities significantly contributed to economic growth throughout July and August.
  • Although non-essential retail sales experienced a slight deceleration, the economy received a boost from the final stages of pent-up demand post-COVID-19.
  • Consumer goods prices dropped at a more rapid pace than in many other sectors.
  • Auto sales increased, benefiting from improved inventory availability for consumers. However, this rise was not directly linked to heightened consumer demand for vehicles.
  • Escalating business costs had a dampening effect on profit margins.

It’s worth noting that the Beige Book report is published eight times a year in anticipation of scheduled meetings of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).

Mortgage Rates Dip, Jobless Claims Decline

In the realm of housing finance, Freddie Mac reported a welcome drop in mortgage rates during the past week. For instance, rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 7.12 percent, marking a decrease of six basis points compared to the previous week. Meanwhile, rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages dipped by three basis points, averaging 6.52 percent.

In the labor market, there was positive news as well. Initial jobless claims registered a decline, with 216,000 first-time claims filed. This figure represented an improvement from the prior week’s reading of 229,000 initial jobless claims. Analysts had anticipated a reading around 230,000 new jobless claims.

What Lies Ahead

Looking ahead, this week’s economic calendar promises to be more eventful. Expectations include reports on inflation, U.S. retail sales, and the preliminary monthly assessment of consumer sentiment. Additionally, we’ll receive the latest weekly updates on mortgage rates and initial jobless claims, providing further insights into the economic landscape.

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