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Mortgage Market Update

Today’s only relevant economic data was May’s Industrial Production data at 9:15 AM ET. It revealed a 0.6% increase in output at U.S. factories, mines and utilities last month. This was just a bit stronger than the 0.5% increase that was expected, indicating that the manufacturing sector grew a little more last month than many had thought. That makes the data negative for mortgage rates, but because it was not enough of a variance in a moderately important report, it has had a minimal impact on this morning’s mortgage pricing. Tomorrow has two pieces of data that we will be watching. May's Consumer Price Index (CPI) will be posted early tomorrow morning. This index gives us a very important measurement of inflationary pressures at the consumer level of the economy. As with last week's Producer Price Index (PPI), there are two readings that analysts watch. Forecasts are calling for 0.2% rise in the overall reading and a 0.2% increase in the core data. The core reading is the more important of the two because it excludes more volatile food and energy prices, leaving a more stable measure of inflation. Indexes like this are important to the bond market and mortgage rates because rising inflation makes long-term securities’ future interest payments less valuable to investors. That leads them to be sold at a discount, causing yields and mortgage rates to move higher. Therefore, we would like to see weaker than expected readings, indicating inflationary pressures are softer than analysts are thinking. The weaker the readings, the better the news it is for mortgage rates. Also early tomorrow will be May's Housing Starts data that tracks construction starts of new home projects. It is one of the month's least important reports and likely will not affect mortgage rates unless its results vary greatly from forecasts. It is expected to show that starts of new homes fell last month, indicating softness in the housing sector. That is good news for the bond market and mortgage rates because a weakening housing sector makes broader economic growth less likely. However, this data is not important enough to cause a noticeable change in mortgage rates unless the CPI matches forecasts and this report shows a significant surprise. Overall, Wednesday is easily the best candidate as most active day for mortgage rates with the FOMC results and Fed events, but we will likely also see a fair amount of movement tomorrow. We also need to keep an eye on geopolitical events overseas that are in current events as they can heavily influence the global markets. Friday looks to be the least important day unless something unexpected happens.

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