MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
ADP: Private sector employment falls 123,000 in December, first decline since April
Private-sector employment decreased by 123,000 in December, the first decline since April 2020. In November, 304,000 private sector jobs were added. Of the total 123,000 jobs lost, just 18,000 were in manufacturing, and 105,000 were in more customer-facing service industries.
December manufacturing index rises 3.2 points to highest level in over 2.5 years
The December Manufacturing PMI® registered 60.7 percent, up 3.2 percentage points from the November reading of 57.5 percent, and the highest level since July of 2018. This figure indicates expansion in the overall economy for the eighth month in a row after contracting in March, April, and May.
Purchase loan apps dip 0.8 percent from two weeks earlier, but up 3 percent year-on-year
The Market Composite Index for mortgage apps decreased 4.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from two weeks earlier, with purchase loans falling 0.8 percent (but up 3 percent year-on-year) and refinance activity falling 34 percent (but up 100 percent year-on-year). The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances decreased to 2.86 percent from 2.90 percent.
Mortgage loans in forbearance unchanged at 5.53 percent
The total number of loans now in forbearance remained unchanged relative to the prior week at 5.53% as of December 27, 2020. According to MBA’s estimate, 2.7 million homeowners are in forbearance plans.