Last week’s economic reports included job openings, retail sales, retail sales except automotive, consumer sentiment for March and the usual reports on weekly jobless claims and mortgage rates.
Last weekâs economic news was scant on housing related reports, but several employment reports were released along with the national unemployment rate, which dipped to 5.50 percent. This was a full point below the Federal Reserveâs original target rate of 6.50 percent. Construction spending was incrementally lower than expected and mortgage rates also fell.
Last week provided several housing-related reports including New Home Sales, Pending Home Sales and Existing Home Sales reports. Case-Shiller and FHFA also released data on home prices.
According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), U.S. home prices rose by 1.40 percent for the fourth quarter of 2014 and were up by 0.80 percent month-to-month from November. The seasonally adjusted FHFA House Price Index measures purchase transactions for homes connected with mortgages owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
December home prices rose by 0.10 percent according to the Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index. The composite report tracks home prices in 20 U.S. cities. December’s results boosted home prices by 4.50 percent year-over-year, which is approximately double the inflation rate for 2014.
Last week’s housing related reports included the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Housing Market Index for February, The Commerce Department’s report on Housing Starts for January and Freddie Mac’s weekly report on average mortgage rates. The Federal Reserve released the minutes of January’s FOMC meeting, which indicated that FOMC members are in no hurry to raise the target federal funds rate.
Federal Open Market Committee policymakers are in no hurry to raise the target federal funds rate. Members said that raising rates too soon could swamp the strengthening economy and expressed concerns that changing the committeeâs current “patient” stance on rising rates could cause more harm than good to current economic conditions.
Last week’s economic news included an index of labor market conditions provided by the Federal Reserve, a report on small business sentiment, and a report from the Labor Department on job openings. Weekly jobless claims, Freddie Mac’s mortgage rates report and a report on Consumer Sentiment rounded out the week.
Last week’s economic news included construction spending, which fell shy of expectations but exceeded the prior month’s spending, and several consumer and labor-related reports.
Last week’s economic reports included Case-Shiller 10 and 20-City Home Price Index reports for November along with new and pending home sales for December. Freddie Mac reported on average mortgage rates and new jobless claims dipped unexpectedly.