US Mortgage Applications Fall -10.6% as Interest Rates Rise Higher Again

The Mortgage Bankers Association showed mortgage applications in the US for the week ending 16 February 2024 slumped 10.6%. The 30-year fixed rate increased to 7.06% from 6.87% the week before. The sharp rise in the average home loan rate saw both purchase and refinancing activity have a marked decline, as sentiment, and the ability to get a loan has deteriorated as it becomes progressively worse after the opening two months of the year. The Refinance Index slumped to 427.0 … Continue reading “US Mortgage Applications Fall -10.6% as Interest Rates Rise Higher Again”

US Producer Prices Came in Hot in January, Following Consumer Prices

The U.S. Producer Price Index for final demand in January came in hotter than expected as did CPI earlier in the week and put a spanner in the disinflation view. The Fed will see it as a reason to remain patient with respect to cutting rates. PPI was up 0.3% month-over-month in January 2024, the biggest increase in five months, following a 0.1% decline in December and higher than forecasts of 0.1%. Cost of services rose 0.6%, the largest increase … Continue reading “US Producer Prices Came in Hot in January, Following Consumer Prices”

Core Inflation Rose More Than Expected Again in January, Fed Hawkish Rhetoric Justified

Consumer prices continue prove to be sticky in the US, core CPI continues to run hot. The Fed favors the core metric as a better gauge of inflation trends. Core CPI, which excludes food and energy, was up 0.4% month-over-month (consensus 0.3%) after increasing 0.3% in December. Shelter prices, which make up about a third of the overall CPI index jumped 0.6%, accounting for more than two thirds of the overall increase. On a year-over-year basis core CPI was up … Continue reading “Core Inflation Rose More Than Expected Again in January, Fed Hawkish Rhetoric Justified”

Focus on Powell, Fed Loan Survey and RBA Interest Rate

The week was surprised by a more hawkish Federal Reserve chair this week over rate guidance and QT parameters though it barely reduced punts for rate cuts at future meetings. We get more from the Fed this week with a Powell 60 minutes interview and the Fed’s loan survey to inform on credit tightening. Also ahead is ECB inflation expectations and monetary policy decisions from Banxico, Peru, RBA, Poland. India and Thailand. There were no surprises last week from the … Continue reading “Focus on Powell, Fed Loan Survey and RBA Interest Rate”

U.S. Job Market in January Delivered Much Stronger Key Metrics with Huge NFP Upside Revisions

The January employment reports delivered much stronger key metrics than expected, nonfarm payrolls, private sector payrolls, the unemployment rate, and average hourly earnings were all stronger than expected. In particular payroll data where January non-farm payrolls came in 353K vs +180K expected and December was revised to +333K from+216K, November was revised to +173K from +164K, a combined 126,000 higher than previously reported. Updated population estimates decreased the estimated size of the civilian non-institutional population by 625,000 and the civilian … Continue reading “U.S. Job Market in January Delivered Much Stronger Key Metrics with Huge NFP Upside Revisions”

Central Bank Watch – Week Ahead Focus Fed, BOE, Riksbank Amid Irrational Exuberance

The coming week brings out meetings with the Federal Reserve mulling over rate guidance and QT parameters. Nothing is expected from that statement-only outcome and markets have reduced punts for rate cuts at the March 20th and May 1st meetings. We also have the Bank of England, Riksbank, Hungary and several LatAm central banks, Brazil, Chile and Columbia. They are confronted by a new round of developments such as the shipping crisis in the Middle East that injects further uncertainty … Continue reading “Central Bank Watch – Week Ahead Focus Fed, BOE, Riksbank Amid Irrational Exuberance”

Core PCE Prices in December at 6 Month Annualized 1.9%, Below Fed’s 2% Target

The core PCE Price Index, which is the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, rose 0.2% in December (consensus 0.2%) following a 0.1% increase in November. This is the sixth month in the last seven where monthly inflation has printed at a rate equal to or below the Fed’s 2% target. The PCE Price Index rose 0.2% in December (Briefing.com consensus 0.2%) following a 0.1% decline in November. With the December changes, the PCE Price Index was up 2.6% year-over-year, unchanged from … Continue reading “Core PCE Prices in December at 6 Month Annualized 1.9%, Below Fed’s 2% Target”

South Africa Leaves Interest Rates at 8.25%, Rand Falls Rallies with Delayed Rate Cuts

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) kept its benchmark repo interest rate at 8.25% at its January 25th, 2024, meting as widely anticipated. Rates remain at their highest since 2009. The bank highlighted the persistence of inflation risks while emphasizing a balanced evaluation of risks to medium-term growth. The SARB noted that the return of inflation to the target has been slow, despite the expected gradual moderation. Headline inflation fell for a second month to 5.1% in December from 5.5% … Continue reading “South Africa Leaves Interest Rates at 8.25%, Rand Falls Rallies with Delayed Rate Cuts”

ECB Leaves Key Interest Rates Unchanged, Short of Markets Hawkish Expectations

ECB kept key rates unchanged in its January monetary policy decision at 4.50%, multi-year highs for the third consecutive meeting, with the closely watched deposit facility rate 4.00%, in line with markets thoughts. The ECB broke their record streak of rate hikes with the pause and markets are also convinced that they aren’t going to add any more considering the state of the economy at the moment. The ECB’s Lagarde did not push back, failing to make use of Middle … Continue reading “ECB Leaves Key Interest Rates Unchanged, Short of Markets Hawkish Expectations”

Central Bank of Turkey Raises Another 250 bps to 45%, Signaled End of Rate Hikes

The Central Bank of Turkey hiked by another 250bps from 42.5 percent to 45 percent as expected. It also signaled the end of rate hikes by stating “that the monetary tightness required to establish the disinflation course is achieved and that this level will be maintained as long as needed.” This was consistent with expectations this would be the final hike after the central bank said at its last decision in December that the goal was to “complete the tightening … Continue reading “Central Bank of Turkey Raises Another 250 bps to 45%, Signaled End of Rate Hikes”