10/9: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

Fed:  Keep interest rates at current levels for now

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in September indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a strong rate.  On a 12-month basis, both overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy remain near 2 percent.  In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2 to 2-1/4 percent.

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Consumer credit use up 3.25 percent in September and 5.25 percent in 3Q 2018

Consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 3.25 percent in September, with revolving credit increasing at an annual rate of 2 percent, while nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 6.50 percent.  Credit also rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.25 percent during the third quarter.

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Applications fall 4.0 percent, average 30-year rates rise to 5.15 percent

The Market Composite Index decreased 4.0 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, to the lowest level since December 2014, with purchase loans down 5.0 percent and refinance activity falling 3.0 percent. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances increased to 5.15 percent from 5.11 percent.

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