5/13/21 – EconUpdate by P. Duffy

EconUpdate by P. Duffy

April Consumer Price Index rises 4.2 percent year-on-year, largest annual jump since 2008

What does this mean?  Huge year-on-year jumps in energy prices and used car/truck prices were the major reasons for the increase.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.8 percent in April and was up 4.2 percent year-on-year, for the largest annual increase since September 2008. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.9 percent in April, its largest monthly increase since April 1982, and was up 3.0 percent year-on-year.


March job openings rise to series high of 8.1 million as employers struggle to fill positions

What does this mean?  As children return to school in the fall, vaccination rates continue to rise and concerns about Covid-19 in the workplace subside, the labor market should balance out in the last half of 2021.

The number of job openings rose 7.9 percent to a series high of 8.1 million on the last business day of March, more than double the rate of the rise in hires. Even with that bump in openings, the ratio of unemployed persons per job opening edged down to 1.2, the lowest ratio since last March, but higher than the pre-pandemic level of 0.8.  Still, the gap between job openings and hires rose to 2.1 million, the highest on record, and indicating that businesses want to re-open faster than they’re able to fill existing jobs.


Purchase loan apps rise 1 percent from last week and 13 percent year-on-year, rates dip 7 basis points

What does this mean?  Purchase loan demand remain in high demand, helped by lower rates

The Market Composite Index for mortgage apps increased 2.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, purchase loans rising 1 percent (and up 13 percent year-on-year) and refinance activity rising 3 percent (but down 12 percent year-on-year). The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances decreased to 3.11 percent from 3.18 percent.