Rates Dip As China Slips
Investors have grown more concerned that economic growth, particularly in China, will slow more rapidly than expected. In recent years, China has been responsible for a significant share of global economic growth, and weakness in China’s performance are felt in many countries. As a result, stock markets around the world posted another week of large declines. For mortgage rates, slower growth is positive since it reduces the outlook for inflation.
Back on the home front, U.S. consumer spending accounts for about 70% of economic activity, making the retail sales data one of the most important reports each month. The December shortfall in retail sales as compared to the consensus was good news for mortgage rates, the fact that retail sales have been somewhat low in recent months is not totally due to slowing economic activity. To some degree, the retail sales figures are simply the result of a nice decline in the cost that consumers have to pay for the items they purchase.
Factors: NAHB Housing confidence index will be released on Tuesday. Housing Starts and CPI will come out on Wednesday. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the most closely watched monthly inflation report, and it looks at the price change for finished goods which are sold to consumers. Existing Home Sales will be released on Friday.
Trend: Slightly Lower
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