AgentIndustry News

Fed ponders risks of deep economic slowdown

Mortgage market commentary
Published on Oct 13, 2006

All long-term rates this week rose a quarter-point from the end-of-September lows: the 10-year T-note's jump from 4.54 percent to 4.81 percent has taken 30-year mortgage rates to 6.375 percent. Incoming data are too healthy to support a further decline in rates, or even a return to September lows. The economy has decelerated, but bonds need the prospect of a deeper slowdown underway -- slow but steady won't get it done. Rates rose in three jumps, the first over the holiday weekend, the second on Wednesday, and the last this morning. Markets took the long weekend to digest the contrasts between last Friday's weak payroll gain for September (yet fewer unemployed) and the huge upward revision in last year's jobs. Some still argue that the weak September payrolls constitute a current trend change, but the revision means that labor markets are far tighter than thought, and therefore inflation-prone, confirmed by 4.6 percent unemployment, deep in the hot zone below 5 percent. Slower growth...

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