MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
Consumer Price Index rebounds to 0.3 percent rise in December, up 3.4 percent year-on-year
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.3 percent in December after rising 0.1 percent in November, and was up 3.4 percent year-on-year. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.3 percent in December, the same monthly increase as in November, and was up 3.9 percent year-on-year.
Inflation returns as top concern on Main Street
The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index increased 1.3 points in December to 91.9, marking the 24th consecutive month below the 50-year average of 98. Twenty-three percent of small business owners reported that inflation was their single most important problem in operating their business, up one point from last month, and replacing labor quality as the top concern.
Purchase loan applications rise 6 percent from previous week but down 16 percent year-on-year
The Market Composite Index for mortgage applications increased 9.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans up 6 percent but down 16 percent year-on-year and refinance activity rising 19 percent and up 30 percent year-on-year. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 6.81 percent from 6.76 percent.