Jobs Data This Week
Now that April Fools Day has passed, we can get down to some serious business. And the first order of business each month is the release of the employment report. Each report seems to have a special meaning with regard to the economy, and this month the job numbers will be no exception. In February we had very strong employment growth, and we will be watching for any revisions of February’s numbers, as well as focusing on the data for the month of March.
Two very strong months could signal the Federal Reserve Board to move up their timeline for rate increases this year. As of their meeting in March, they are sticking with an estimate of three increases this year and the markets have already built in at least some of these increases. If the numbers ease back and there is any significant downward revision for February, then the focus will shift the growth of wages.
Right now, the Fed is not only looking at a strengthening economy, but also how this growth will affect the inflation rate. Any evidence of increased pricing would also serve as justification for future rate increases. While increasing wages are great news for the American worker, any acceleration of the growth of wages could be felt by consumers in the form of higher rates. The best scenario for Friday? Solid growth in jobs and wages, but just not too hot
The Weekly Market Update
Rates on 30-year fixed home loans were stable again in the past week. For the week ending March 29, Freddie Mac announced that 30-year fixed rates fell one tick to 4.44% from 4.45% the week before. The average for 15-year loans also decreased slightly to 3.90% and the average for five-year adjustables fell to 3.66%. A year ago, 30-year fixed rates averaged 4.14%, higher than today’s level.
Attributed to Len Kiefer, Deputy Chief Economist, Freddie Mac — “Treasury yields fell from a week ago helping to drive rates on home loans slightly lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury dipped below 2.8 percent for the first time since early February of this year. The decline in Treasury yields comes as investors move into safer assets amid increased trade tensions. Following Treasurys, rates on home loans fell slightly. The U.S. weekly average 30-year fixed rate fell 1 basis point to 4.44 percent in this week’s survey.”
Note: Rates indicated do not include fees and points and are provided for evidence of trends only. They should not be used for comparison purposes.