Daily Market Update 3/16/12

Mortgage rates were little changed Friday but have risen by about .25% since Tuesday’s Fed statement.  In economic news, the February Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.4% from January, matching expectations, and was 2.9% higher than one year ago.  Core CPI, excluding food and energy components, increased 0.1%, slightly less than expected.  February Industrial Production was unchanged from January, below the consensus forecast of +0.5%.  Consumer Sentiment fell unexpectedly.  Analysts blamed higher gas prices for the decline.  Next week, Housing Starts will be released on Tuesday, Existing Home Sales on Wednesday, and New Home Sales on Friday.  No other key data will be released today.

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