Tag Archive for ‘macroeconomics’

Nation’s Economy Grows in the First Quarter

In its first or “advance” estimate, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), reported that the nation’s economy, as measured by real gross domestic product (GDP), rose by 2.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis in the first quarter of 2018. This is the second consecutive quarter in which growth slowed. However, this is the fourth consecutive quarter in which… Read More ›

Annual Inflation Accelerates on Monthly Decline

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that consumer inflation fell by 0.1 percent over the month of March 2018 following a 0.2 percent increase in February. This is first monthly decrease since May 2017. Energy prices fell by 3 percent over the month as gasoline prices were 4.9 percent lower than their level in February. In contrast, core CPI, which… Read More ›

Mortgage Rates Rise

The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that mortgage contract rates on purchases of newly built homes rose by 11 basis points over the month of February to 4.14 percent, near its last peak level of 4.18 percent established one year ago in February 2017. Over the past year, the average mortgage rate on purchases of newly constructed homes fell by… Read More ›

US Economy Grew Faster Than Previously Estimated

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the economy grew faster in the fourth quarter of 2017 than was originally estimated. The third estimate of GDP growth in the quarter 2.9 percent, was faster than the 2.6 percent “advance” estimate and the 2.5 percent second estimate. It confirms that the economy grew faster than its potential, strongly indicating that the… Read More ›

Fed Raises Key Policy Rate

As was widely expected, the Federal Open Market Committee (the FOMC) raised its key interest rate 25 basis points to a range of 1.50 percent to 1.75 percent following its March meeting. The Fed noted that its decision reflected “realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation”, but that the current level of the federal funds rate remains “accommodative”, supporting… Read More ›

Mortgage Rates Rise

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported that contract mortgage rates rose by four basis points to 4.05 percent in January 2018. After falling to 3.93 percent following its February 2017 peak of 4.18 percent, rates on purchases of newly built homes have risen 12 basis points over two months to 4.05 percent. At this level, mortgage rates remain below… Read More ›

Solid Fourth Quarter Economic Growth Confirmed

In its second estimate, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported that the nation’s economy, measured by real gross domestic product (GDP), grew by 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017 on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis. The second estimate is 0.1 percent point less than the 2.6 percent growth rate recorded in the first or “advance” estimate…. Read More ›

Inflation Steady with Growth in January

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that a measure of inflation, its Consumer Price Index – Urban Consumer (CPI), rose by 2.1 percent over the past 12 months, similar to the 12-month rate of growth recorded in December. Meanwhile, core inflation, which excludes the more volatile energy and food prices, rose by 1.8 percent, also matching its growth rate in… Read More ›

Fed Survey Confirms Broader Economic Improvement, But Concerns Exist

Information provided by the Federal Reserve Board in its January 2018 release of the Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey (SLOOS) indicates that lending standards on commercial and industrial (C&I) loans to large and medium-sized firms continue to ease on net. The continued easing in standards on C&I loans increase the stock of loans, which in turns fuels job creation. However,… Read More ›

Interest Rates Rise

According to the Mortgage Interest Rate Survey produced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, contract rates on 30-Year fixed rate mortgages ticked up one basis point in December 2017 to 4.01 percent. Information provided by Freddie Mac, a more commonly used series, showed a similar trend over the month of December with its contract rate on the 30-Year fixed rate… Read More ›