MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
Purchase loan apps dip 2 percent in weekly update, but up 21 percent year-on-year
The Market Composite Index increased 4.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans falling 2 percent (but up 21 percent year-on-year) and refinance activity rising 8 percent (and up 50 percent year-on-year). The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.01 percent from 3.05 percent.
Federal Reserve Chairman makes the case for more fiscal stimulus to support the economy
According to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in a recent speech: “At this early stage, I would argue that the risks of policy intervention are still asymmetric. Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses. Over time, household insolvencies and business bankruptcies would rise, harming the productive capacity of the economy, and holding back wage growth. By contrast, the risks of overdoing it seem, for now, to be smaller. The recovery will be stronger and move faster if monetary policy and fiscal policy continue to work side by side to provide support to the economy until it is clearly out of the woods.”
Job openings slip 3 percent in August, but separations fell by nearly 8 percent
On the last business day of August, there were 7.1 million more unemployed persons than jobs available, or 6.5 million job openings versus 13.6 million total unemployed. These 6.5 million job openings in August were down 3.0 percent from July, while hires edged up 0.3 percent to 5.9 million. More workers were also able to stay on the job longer, with separations down 7.8 percent to just under 5.0 million, with the quits rate falling 4.7 percent to 2.9 million.