Optimism in Job Market and Economy Urging Rates Higher

Hope you are having a great week! We saw mortgage rates remain rather steady last week, even in the face of a very encouraging and robust Jobs Report. Friday’s report on the nation’s employment picture showed new job creation come in just shy of 1 million while the unemployment rate ticked lower and the number of people in the workforce grew. 

When we see such encouraging news, it can cause mortgage rates to move higher. Fortunately we did not see rates move much higher last week; however with jobs and the economy recovering nicely, the bias for rates is for continuing the trend upward, especially as we enter the peak homebuying season.

For you, that means that if you are planning a purchase or still need to refinance, your best bet is to move forward sooner rather than later. Let’s talk and we can run the numbers for your specific scenario. 

What I’m watching this week…

This is a very quiet week in terms of important economic data coming out. Wednesday traders will get a look at the minutes from the last Fed Meeting. Most of the interest in reading the minutes is to understand better what factors the Fed is considering in making their policy decisions and where their collective thinking is on the economy and monetary policy. 

As a follow-up to the jobs report last Friday we get a look on Thursday at the latest report on numbers of new claims for unemployment. Jobless claims for the April 3rd week are expected to come in at 680,000 versus 719,000 in the March 27 week. Although headed in the right direction, initial filings are still roughly three times higher than they were before the pandemic.

On Friday, the latest look at wholesale price inflation comes out. After February’s energy-driven 0.5 percent rise in producer prices, a monthly increase of 0.5 percent for yearly growth of 3.8 percent are the headline consensus forecasts for March. Increasing inflation will put pressure on rates to rise as well, so I’ll be keeping a close eye on what happens with this number. 

I’ll also be closely watching the 10-year Treasury yield percentage. If it breaks through the 1.75 percent mark we could see another noticeable rise in mortgage rates. Stay tuned next week for all the latest and reach out if you’d like to talk about your upcoming home purchase!