“I put that work in, day in, day out.” (Kelly Clarkson) More people were putting work in, as job growth beat estimates in May.

Non-Farm PayrollsThe Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that Non-Farm Payrolls rose 223,000 in May, above expectations and up from 159,000 in April. April and March were revised for an increased total of 15,000 more jobs than previously reported. May Average Hourly Earnings also rose 0.3 percent, in line with estimates, and up from 0.1 percent in April. Year-over-year, earnings were up 2.7 percent in May, from the 2.6 percent for the year ended in April. May’s unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent, the lowest level since April 2000. Overall, the Jobs Report was strong and shows a strengthening labor market.

Annual Core Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) showed that inflation rose 1.8 percent in April, while March was revised lower to 1.8 percent from 1.9 percent. Core PCE, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, is the Fed’s favorite inflation gauge. While inflation remains steady, it is still below the Fed’s 2 percent target. Since inflation reduces the value of fixed investments, like mortgage bonds, it can hurt mortgage bonds and the home loan rates tied to them. It will be important to see where inflation heads in the coming months.

In housing news, home prices continued to edge higher in March due in a large part to low inventories of homes for sale on the market. The S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index rose 6.8 percent from March 2017 to March 2018, matching the February gain.

Although the second reading on first-quarter 2018 Gross Domestic Product was also released last week, it came and went with little fanfare, near unchanged from the first reading. The real market mover was the geopolitical events throughout Europe. Political turmoil in Italy and Spain pushed investors into the safe haven of the bond markets early in the week, but those fears eased in recent days as both countries came to an agreement.

Mortgage bonds were able to squeak out small gains in the latest week as they rose to near 2018 highs. Home loan rates declined and remain historically attractive.

After last week’s heavy economic calendar, this week’s reports are on the lighter side.

  • The ISM Services Index will be released on Tuesday.
  • Productivity data for the first quarter will be delivered on Wednesday.
  • As usual, weekly Initial Jobless Claims releases on Thursday.

If you or someone you know has any questions about home loans, please contact me. I’d be happy to help.

Related Articles

Homebridge’s Diversity & Inclusion Advisory and Support Council In our continuing efforts to create a more equitable workplace, Homebridge established its Diversity & Inclusion Advisory and Support Council. This group will have two primary roles. First, to serve as a think tank for initiatives that will help foster and grow…
Read More of the post Homebridge’s Diversity & Inclusion Advisory and Support Council

We are thrilled to expand our renewed commitment to Diversity and Inclusion through a partnership with Circa, a national workforce development and recruiting company. With a tarnished history of discrimination, the mortgage industry must take responsibility now to create a new path for equal housing opportunities for all. This starts…
Read More of the post Homebridge Partners with Circa as Part of Renewed Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

At Homebridge, we know our customers come from all walks of life, and so do we. Under the leadership of our new Office of Diversity and Inclusion, we are inspired to try new things, speak openly, and be bold. It brings us together in ways that help us stand out…
Read More of the post Mortgage Professional America Interview on our New Office of Diversity and Inclusion

There's no place like home, just ask Mackenzie Holowach. When the pandemic hit, Holowach was transferred to assist at a COVID testing site and later worked in a New Jersey ICU. Changing clothes before entering the home she shared with her sister became her norm and Holowach even spent time living…
Read More of the post Stories from the Frontline