Industry NewsMortgage

Economy stuck in ‘soft patch’

Growth in consumer spending falls to 3-year low

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Mortgage rates are still near 6 percent, held there by the 10-year T-note trading in the 4.5 percent range, well below the 4.8s during the worst of the April-June stretch – the one in which the Fed was presumed to be falling behind the curve of inflation and an accelerating economic expansion. We know now that it was not behind. Further, in the rolling second-, third-, and quadruple-guessing of the markets, a lot of bond-market people now wonder if the Fed might have been ahead of the curve, raising its rate into a slowing and fragile economy. Stock-market types are still the soul of optimism, and so is Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, his testimony to Congress last month totally dismissive of economic worry. Perceptions of the economic curve blew up with poor payroll data on July 2, but inflation concerns persisted until today's April-June GDP deflator fell back to an annualized 1.8 percent from 2.1 percent in the 1st quarter. The GDP data showed an overall slowing to ...