Weekly Review
Newsletter - 10/17/2022

Week of October 10, 2022 in Review

Inflation was hotter than anticipated in September while initial unemployment claims are trending higher. Here are the key details:

  • Consumer Inflation Remains Hot But Is Hope Ahead?
  • Producer Inflation Also Higher Than Expectations
  • Fed Minutes Convey Hawkish Tone
  • Initial Jobless Claims Rise for Second Consecutive Week

Consumer Inflation Remains Hot But Is Hope Ahead?

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation on the consumer level, showed that inflation increased by 0.4% in September, double the amount economists expected. On an annual basis, inflation declined from 8.3% to 8.2%, though this was also above estimates.

The real story here was Core CPI, which strips out volatile food and energy prices. It also came in higher than forecasted, with a 0.6% rise. As a result, year over year Core CPI increased from 6.3% to a hotter than expected 6.6%.  

What’s the bottom line? Besides causing higher prices, inflation is the arch-enemy of fixed investments like Mortgage Bonds because it erodes the buying power of a Bond's fixed rate of return. If inflation is rising, investors demand a rate of return to combat the faster pace of erosion due to inflation, causing interest rates to rise, as we’ve seen this year.

Producer Inflation Also Higher Than Expectations

The Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures inflation on the wholesale level, rose 0.4% in September, coming in hotter than expected. On a year-over-year basis, PPI decreased from 8.7% to 8.5%. Also higher than anticipated. Core PPI, which strips out food and energy prices, was in line with estimates with a 0.3% increase. The annual figure declined from 7.3% to 7.2%.

What’s the bottom line? We still have not seen a meaningful decline in producer inflation. This can lead to hotter consumer inflation levels as producers have two options: reduce margins or pass along higher costs to consumers.

In addition, 30% of small business owners reported that inflation was their single most important problem in operating their business in September, per the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Optimism Index. However, compensation and wages did moderate while owners expecting higher selling prices fell to the lowest level since September 2021. Both of these developments could signal moderating inflation in the months to come.

Fed Minutes Convey Hawkish Tone

The minutes from the Fed’s September meeting were released last week, showing that the Fed believes it needs to continue its tightening policy even as the labor market slows. The Fed acknowledged that inflation was declining more slowly than anticipated and “many participants emphasized that the cost of taking too little action to bring down inflation likely outweighed the cost of taking too much action.” 

The hawkish tone to the minutes shows the Fed’s priority is taming inflation, even if it means economic growth, consumer spending and the labor market could be hindered.

Initial Jobless Claims Rise for Second Consecutive Week

 

 

The number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time rose by 9,000 in the latest week, as 228,000 Initial Jobless Claims were reported. This followed a 29,000 increase in Initial Claims in the previous week. Continuing Claims, which measure people who continue to receive benefits after their initial claim is filed, were essentially unchanged, rising 3,000 to 1.368 million.

What’s the bottom line? Although the level of Initial Jobless Claims is still low, the increase in the last two weeks is significant, and the trend in Initial Claims now appears to be higher.

What to Look for This Week

Crucial housing reports will be released beginning Tuesday with the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index, which will give us a near real-time read on builder confidence for this month. Housing Starts and Building Permits for September follow on Wednesday, while September’s Existing Home Sales will be reported on Thursday.

Technical Picture

Mortgage Bonds ended last week trading in an extremely wide range between the floor at last Thursday’s low of 96.98 and overhead resistance at 99.54. The 10-year eclipsed the 4.0% level and ended last week trading at around 4.02%, meaning it has a bit room until reaching the next ceiling at 4.075%.

Information (weekly review) was provided by Mark Hedman
Homebridge Financial Services  - Sales Manager, Mortgage Loan Originator

 

Realated Links:

Real Estate Weekly Report

Real Estate Weekly Report - Annual Home Price Appreciation Declining But Still Strong

Real Estate Weekly Report

Posted by Liza Alley on
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