Rates improved slightly Wednesday as retail inflation data came in close to expectations. The August Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.4% from July and fell 1.5% from one year ago. The closely watched “core” rate rose at a tame 1.4% annual rate. Separately, Industrial Production rose 0.8% from July. Mortgage-backed securities markets initially rose, but fell back after a Treasury report showed a substantial decline in foreign holdings of US securities. The Mortgage Bankers Association weekly purchase activity index fell by 10%, while the refinancing activity index decreased by 7%. No other data will be released today.