(Courtesy of Joe Massey, Castle & Cooke Mortgage)
Last week saw mortgage rates easing from their slow upward trend. The biggest news of the week, by far, was the unemployment report. A decrease to 6.7% in the unemployment rate usually is a positive economic sign. However, the economy only produced 74,000 new jobs, which was significantly lower than the 200,000 expected. The decrease in the unemployment rate was primarily due job seekers giving up and no longer looking for work. The Fed’s meeting minutes revealed a Fed continuing to struggle with how to deal with the taper, and as importantly, what might be the longterm impact. If economic data continues to show more softness in growth, then the Fed is fairly likely not to add additional tapering its QE3 program at its next meeting, at the end of January.
This week is likely to start with rates trending slightly downward, but some important economic data is due this week that could change that. Retail Sales and Industrial Production are expected to show little growth. If that holds true, rates could trend downward; if not, rates may move back upward.