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Mortgage rates higher on inflation jitters

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Worries about inflation pushed mortgage rates up this week, Freddie Mac reported today. The average rate on 30-year fixed-rate loans jumped to 6.03 percent in the latest survey, up from 5.88 percent last week, while the average rate on 15-year fixed loans climbed from 5.4 percent to 5.62 percent. A year ago the 30-year averaged 6.16 percent and the 15-year averaged 5.87 percent. To qualify for these rates, borrowers must pay points, or fees that lenders charge for loan processing expressed as a percent of the loan, which this week averaged 0.3 on the 30- and 15-year loans. "Average rates on mortgages increased across the board this last week as the most recent economic data raised inflationary concerns in the capital markets," Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a statement. "For example, the Producer Price Index -- a measure of wholesale inflation -- increased 1.1 percent in March, nearly double the consensus expectations. &...