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New jobless claims improved for the week of June 4th. There were 4,000 fewer new jobless claims for a total of 264,000 claims. The four-week moving average decreased to 269,000 claims. Continuing claims fell to 2.1 million, the lowest level since October 2000. The report is a bright spot after a very negative jobless claims report in the previous week.
Consumer sentiment remained strong in June. Consumers’ confidence in their personal finances rose to the highest level since July 2005 in large part due to wage increases. However, consumer expectations for the national economy in the next six months fell slightly from May. Inflation expectations for the next five to ten years were 2.3%, the lowest level in nearly fifty years.
Purchase applications for home mortgages increased a dramatic 12% for the week of June 3rd. Applications for refinancing jumped 7%. Despite the increases, purchase applications are down 19% in the past four weeks and down 6% from one year ago. The average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages under $417,000 was 3.83%. Despite the low mortgage rates, the share of Americans who believe it is a good time to buy a home is at an all-time low of 29% on Fannie Mae’s monthly survey.
Wednesday June 15 — FOMC Meeting Announcement (announcement of target federal funds rate)
Thursday June 16 — Consumer Price Index (a measure of inflation)