What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – May 8, 2023

Construction Spending Sees Growth in March

The construction industry experienced a notable upturn in March, as reported by the Commerce Department. Overall construction spending displayed positive momentum, with a 0.30 percent increase in month-to-month figures. Impressively, year-over-year construction spending surged by a significant $1.83 trillion. While residential construction faced a minor setback with a decline of -0.20 percent, it’s worth noting that this was the tenth consecutive month of decline in this particular sector. Conversely, non-residential construction witnessed a commendable rise of 0.70 percent in March, marking the ninth gain in the past 10 months.

Federal Reserve Raises Key Interest Rate Range

During the recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting, the Federal Reserve made a consequential decision to raise its benchmark interest rate range. By implementing a quarter-point increase, the key interest rate range now stands at 5.00-5.25 percent. This latest adjustment represents the tenth consecutive rate hike as the Federal Reserve diligently strives to maintain control over inflation. The decision reflects the ongoing efforts of the Federal Reserve to strike a balance between stimulating economic growth and preventing excessive price increases.

Mixed Movement in Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims Rise

Last week witnessed a blend of fluctuations in mortgage rates. According to Freddie Mac’s report, the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages declined slightly by four basis points, settling at a new rate of 6.39 percent. In contrast, 15-year fixed-rate mortgages experienced a modest increase of five basis points, resulting in an average rate of 5.76 percent. This mixed movement in mortgage rates reflects the complexity of factors influencing the housing market.

On the jobless claims front, there was an increase in initial claims filed last week. The number rose to 242,000, compared to the previous week’s reading of 229,000 first-time claims. Concurrently, continuing jobless claims declined, with 1.81 million claims filed compared to the prior week’s figure of 1.84 million. These figures underscore the ongoing challenges faced by the labor market, with a slight uptick in new jobless claims alongside a gradual decrease in the number of ongoing claims.

Upcoming Economic News

Looking ahead, there are several key economic indicators to keep an eye on in the coming week. The focus will be on inflation and consumer sentiment, providing valuable insights into price dynamics and consumer confidence. Additionally, updates on mortgage rates and jobless claims will be published, offering further details on the state of the housing market and labor market conditions. These upcoming reports will contribute to our understanding of the broader economic landscape and help inform future decisions and strategies.

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