This week brings us the release of four reports that may influence mortgage rates, but only one of them is considered to be highly important. With no relevant auctions or speeches on tap, I suspect we will see much less movement in mortgage rates this week compared to the past couple of weeks. There is no relevant data scheduled for release tomorrow, so look for the stock markets to drive bond trading and mortgage rates.
Three of the week's four reports will be posted Tuesday morning. The first is July's Producer Price Index (PPI) that gives us an indication of inflation at the producer level of the economy. There are two readings in the report- the overall index and the core data reading. The core data is more important because it excludes more volatile food and energy prices that can change significantly from month to month. Current forecasts call for an increase of 0.2% in the overall and a 0.1% increase in the core data reading. A larger increase in the c ore data could push mortgage rates higher Tuesday morning. If it reveals weaker than expected readings, we may see mortgage rates improve as a result.
The second report of the day is July's Housing Starts data. This report gives us an indication of housing sector strength and future mortgage credit demand. However, it isn't considered to be of high importance to the bond market or mortgage pricing and usually doesn't cause much movement in mortgage rates unless it varies greatly from forecasts. It is the least important of the week's reports and is expected to show a small increase in construction starts of new homes. The lower the number of starts, the better the news for the bond market, as it would indicate a weaker than expected housing sector.
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