AgentIndustry News

Fed’s action finally expected to hike long-term rates

Economic slowdown 'nowhere in sight'

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Upward pressure on interest rates continued to build last week, although 30-year mortgages held at 5.75 percent. The all-important 10-year T-note maintained a tenuous grip below 4.2 percent, but more good economic news – or the Fed – could cause an upward break at any moment. The inflation reports were ideal: core producer prices fell .1 percent in June, and core CPI increased only .1 percent. June retail sales soared 1.7 percent, and excluding artificially boosted auto sales still had a strong .7 percent gain. Deals offered by Ford and GM have reached a new level of giveaway (all buyers get the employee discount) – anything to keep production lines going. There is no profit, but sales and production count in the real world, keeping suppliers in business and employees at work. The gain in industrial production doubled expectations, up .9 percent (autos again, partly), and industrial capacity in use reached the important 80 percent level – 10 points above blown...