Mortgage rates faced upward pressure Wednesday in volatile trading. The January Producer Price Index (PPI) rose 0.8%, well above forecast, and was 3.6% higher than one year ago. Core PPI, which excludes food and energy components, rose 0.5% last month, the largest increase since October 2008. January Housing Starts jumped 15%, beating expectations. Meanwhile, Building Permits, a leading indicator, fell by 10%. Industrial Production declined by 0.1%. An increase of 0.5% had been expected. The Mortgage Bankers Association weekly purchase activity index fell by 6%, while the refinancing activity index fell by 11%. Overall, mortgage demand declined to its lowest level since November 2008. Average reported 30-year fixed rates rose to 5.12%, not including fees. Minutes from last month’s FOMC meeting will be released at 2:00 PM.