This week’s economic news commentary has been dominated by the “what ifs” of a government shutdown; opinions of potential consequences are limited only by the number of commentators sharing their opinions.
Unfortunately, more concrete examples of the shutdown were evident last Tuesday and Friday.
The Department of Commerce delayed release of August’s Construction Spending report that were due last Tuesday and The Bureau of Labor Statistics delayed the release of September’s Non-farm Payroll and Unemployment that were due last Friday.
The ADP Employment report for September posted a reading of 166,000 private sector jobs added against expectations of 180,000 new jobs added. September jobs added surpassed August’s reading of 159,000 new jobs added in the private sector.
Mortgage Rates Remain Near Record Lows
Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey released Thursday brought a third consecutive week of falling mortgage rates. 30-year fixed rate mortgages had an average rate of 4.22 percent down from 4.32 percent the previous week.
The average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage fell by eight basis points from 3.37 percent to 3.29 percent and the average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage fell to 3.03 percent from 3.07 percent.
Discount points were unchanged from last week at 0.70 percent for both 30-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgages and rose from 0.50 percent to 0.60 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loans.
Weekly Jobless Claims were lower than projected. The reading of 308,000 new jobless claims was better than the 313,000 new jobs expected, but was higher than the prior week’s 307,000 new jobless claims.
What‘s Coming Up Next
This week’s scheduled economic reporting is also subject to adjustment if the federal government’s budget is not resolved. The most recent FOMC meeting minutes are due on Wednesday; if released they are expected to provide details about the Fed’s decision not to change its current quantitative easing program.
Weekly jobless claims and Freddie Mac’s PMMS survey of average mortgage rates are due Thursday. The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for October is set for release on Friday.