Mortgage Market Update

Rates eased slightly despite the release of stronger than expected economic data.  This morning, weekly Jobless Claims fell to 210,000, well below the consensus forecast of 230,000, to the lowest level since 1969.  The Core PCE price index, the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, rose 0.3%, in line with expectations, and was 1.5% higher than one year ago.  The Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index rose unexpectedly to 60.8 to the highest level since 2004.  Readings above 50.0 indicate expansion in the manufacturing sector of the economy.  January Personal Income rose 0.4%, matching forecast.  Jerome Powell testifies today before the Senate Banking Committee for the first time as Fed Chairman.  No other key economic data will be released today.

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