Weekly Update

Good news for labor markets continued last week with a fall in first-time jobless claims. Last week’s total was 315,000, which is the lowest level since November.

February’s Retail Sales report was also better-than-expected as consumers increased purchases despite the tough winter weather challenges. Sales were up 0.3 percent for the month.

Bottom Line for Mortgages:

Despite positive economic news here at home, mortgage rates did improve last week as concern over a weakening Chinese economy and the unfolding drama between Russia and Ukraine continue. (Good economic news tends to drive mortgage rates higher, because investors will move investments into stocks at the expense of “safe haven” mortgage bonds.)

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