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by CareyBot

Friday morning's news of zero job growth in February, net of prior-month revisions, has taken low-fee mortgage rates slightly below 5.5 percent for the first time since last June, and that was the last time since 1950-something. Flat employment in a single month is not a red-hot news item. However, the cumulative failure of payrolls to grow during a year of strong-on-the-surface GDP and profit growth has at last broken through the optimistic, rates-will-rise-any-minute consensus. Be careful, here: we have cumulative employment failure, but we do not have any sign of a deceleration in the economy. February reports from the purchasing managers' association were slightly softer than January, but not trend-changers. The Fed's monthly "beige book" is a highly subjective collection of bedtime...