Mortgage rates have crept up this week and are around .125% higher, since the first of the year. However, they are still near 9-month lows. Every day brings potential volatility with the government shutdown / reopening, return of economic data and reports, Brexit, and U.S. - China trade. For those who want to track interest rate movements on their own, follow the U.S 10 Year Treasury Bill.
On Friday, The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment was released showing its consumer-sentiment index dropped to 90.7 in January. This was much lower than 98.3 in December and below economist expectations of 97.5. The measures of current conditions and expectations both dropped to the lowest levels since October 2016. Independent consumer confidence surveys have more importance with the government shutdown and delay in government reporting because they offer a glimpse into consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. Market concerns are if the current shutdown will impact confidence and usage of disposable income with lost spending on retail services like restaurants, hotels, and travel. These concerns are coupled with some retail stores reporting lower sales from the holiday season and questions on if consumers have already spent their tax stimulus savings from last year.
Earlier this week, the Britain Parliament voted down Brexit by 230 votes. It is the worst defeat for any prime minister in history. Prime Minister May announced that her Conservative government will listen to concerns and is expected to present a new plan on January 21st for the Britain exit from the European Union.
Also, the China central bank completed an $82.7 billion cash infusion as part of a commitment for further government stimulus to counteract their current economic slowdown.
The markets have experienced some volatility over the past few Fridays and yesterday's volatility could have been due to the markets markets being closed on Monday. U.S. markets are closed Monday for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday holiday.
The Altitude Group
REALTOR® | MCNE
REALTOR® | CNE