Mortgage rates inched higher Thursday following yesterday’s Fed announcement and stronger than expected employment data. On Wednesday, the Fed announced it will purchase $45 billion per month of long-term Treasury securities beginning in January 2013. The Fed also announced it will keep the Fed Funds Rate near zero until the Unemployment Rate falls below 6.5% or inflation tops 2.5%. In economic news, weekly Jobless Claims fell to 343,000, well below forecast. The November Producer Price Index (PPI) fell 0.8%, below the consensus of -0.5%, and was 1.5% higher than one year ago. Core PPI, which excludes food and energy components, increased 0.1%. Retail Sales rose 0.3%, which was close to expectations. Results from today’s 30-year Treasury auction will be released at 1:00 PM.