Fed Leaders Move Markets

Dated: 10/26/2016

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Over the past week, offsetting comments from top Fed officials caused some volatility for mortgage rates but little net change. Tame inflation data was favorable, however, and mortgage rates ended the week a little lower.

Late Friday afternoon, Fed Chair Yellen surprised investors with an idea for a new spin for U.S. monetary policy. Yellen said that Fed officials were researching whether a “high-pressure economy” may be the best way to realize and sustain improved levels of economic activity. Under this approach, the Fed would keep rates low longer than usual, and would do so without concern that inflation may rise above its 2% target level. Global long-term bond yields, including U.S. mortgage-backed securities, rose late Friday as investors saw a risk of higher inflation if the Fed became more focused on economic growth and less on controlling inflation.

Mortgage rates then reversed direction on Monday when Fed Vice Chair Fischer warned of the risks of keeping rates low for too long. Without specifically referring to Yellen’s comments, he suggested that low rates can lengthen recessions and can threaten the stability of financial markets. Since his statements contrasted with those of Yellen, they had the opposite effect on mortgage rates.

Tuesday’s release of the consumer price index (CPI)contained favorable news for mortgage rates. Core inflation in September came in below the consensus forecast at an annual rate of 2.2%. It has held steady close to this level all year.

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David Sarnowski

David is a seasoned real estate professional, specializing in residential sales, rentals and investment properties. David is a 15 year resident of the New Jersey Gold Coast, with the local knowledge n....

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