Market News 03-15-19
Mortgage Market Update
Wholesale prices barely rose in February, after falling for 3 straight months. This is a sign there is little inflation pressure in the economy, which is good for rates. Retail sales edged up in January, but December was revised sharply lower. The increase was mainly due to discretionary spending and purchases of building materials. Import prices rose in February by the most in 9 months. However, the trend in imported inflation remains weak, supportive of rates staying low.
New home sales declined to a 3-month low in January. The government shutdown and a battered stock market appear to have hurt sales. Construction spending posted its biggest increase in 9 months. However, private residential projects dropped 0.3%, falling for the 6th straight month. The latest design trends include bolder color schemes and brass finishes, particularly in the kitchen and bathroom.