AgentIndustry News

Lagging mortgage rates undermine Fed’s fight

Monetary balancing act trickier than expected

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A coulda-been-worse inflation report Friday gave us a morning-only breather, rates rising again now, as they will continue to do. Bonds and mortgages on Wednesday broke through crucial levels: the 10-year T-note through 4.42 percent to 4.49 percent (higher Friday), lowest-fee mortgages through 6 percent to 6.125 percent (a move which Freddie Mac's survey won't "discover" until later this week). The overall September Consumer Price Index rose 1.2 percent, the largest single-month gain in 14 years, now a 4.7 percent year-over-year increase. However, the "core" rate, excluding volatile food and energy prices, rose only .1 percent – just 2 percent YOY, down from 2.4 percent YOY in July. Some have misunderstood the Fed, seeing it in a jawbone offensive against inflation, but not intending to raise its rate much farther because core inflation is under some control. Many others have mistakenly assumed that high energy prices would do the Fed's work, slowing the economy. Give that up...