Tag Archive for ‘macroeconomy’

Banks See Weaker Demand for Business and CRE Loans

The Federal Reserve Board’s Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey showed that lending standards on commercial and industrial (C&I) loans eased over the first quarter of 2018. At the same time, lending standards on commercial real estate (CRE) loans tightened, but at a slower pace than last quarter. Importantly a net share of banks noted that demand for both C&I and… Read More ›

Core Inflation Slows in April

Following a decline in March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that consumer prices rose by 0.2 percent over the month of April, largely reflecting energy and food prices as well as shelter prices. Excluding energy and food prices, “core” inflation decelerated from 0.2 percent to 0.1 percent as shelter prices, which represent the largest share of the consumer price… Read More ›

Mortgage Rates Climb in April

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), mortgage rates continue to rise and this is confirmed by data from Freddie Mac. The short end of the yield curve, which is most sensitive to monetary policy, has been the primary force behind the increase in mortgage rates. In recent years, short-term rates have put upward pressure on mortgage rates while… Read More ›

Fed Keeps Rate Steady: Higher Rates Expected

As was widely expected, the Federal Open Market Committee (“FOMC”), the monetary policy making body of the Federal Reserve, maintained the federal funds rate at a range of 1.50 to 1.75 percent following its meeting that convened on May 1-2, a rate it deems “accommodative”. Going forward, the FOMC expects that, with further gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary… Read More ›

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 ›

Core Inflation Remains Steady

Consumer prices, measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Consumer Price Index – All Urban Consumer (CPI), rose by 0.2 percent in February after the CPI posted its biggest gain in four years of 0.5 percent in January. Energy price growth slowed over the month to 0.1 percent, from 3.0 percent in January. Meanwhile, core inflation, which excludes the more volatile… Read More ›