Mortgage rates hit new lows for the year Wednesday following the release of weaker than expected economic data. September Retail Sales fell 0.3%, below the consensus forecast of -0.1%. Excluding autos, Retail Sales declined 0.2%, far below an expected increase of 0.3%. The Producer Price Index (PPI) fell 0.1% and was 1.6% higher than one year ago. Core PPI, which excludes volatile food and energy components, was unchanged from August. The Empire State regional manufacturing index declined sharply to 6.2, well short of forecast. Readings above zero indicate expansion in the New York manufacturing sector. The Fed’s Beige Book, a survey of economic conditions by the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks, will be released at 2:00 PM.