Last week’s economic reports included readings on construction spending, government reports on jobs, and the national unemployment rate. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.
Commerce Department Reports Construction Spending Rose in May
The U.S. Commerce Department initially reported less construction spending in May but revised its reading of $1.780 trillion to show that spending rose by 0.10 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.782 trillion. Analysts expected construction spending to rise by 0.40 percent month-to-month as compared to April’s reading of 0.10 percent growth. Construction spending grew by 8.30 percent year-over-year. Concerns over high inflation and affordability of homes presented ongoing concerns for home builders,
Mortgage Rates Fall, Jobless Claims Rise
Freddie Mac reported lower average mortgage rates last week as the rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by 31 basis points to 4.99 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 32 basis points lower at 4.26 percent. 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.04 basis points lower at 4.25 percent. Discount points averaged 0.80 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.6 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 4.25 percent and were four basis points lower with discount points averaging 0.30 percent.
Initial jobless claims rose to 260,000 new claims as compared to the previous week’s reading of 254,000 first-time claims filed. Continuing jobless claims also rose with 1.42 million claims filed; 1.37 million ongoing claims were filed in the previous week.
Non-Farm Payrolls rose by 528,000 jobs in July, which was more than twice the predicted reading of 258,000 jobs added and more jobs added than in June, when 398,000 jobs were added. The national unemployment rate fell to 3.50 percent in July from June’s reading of 3.60 percent. While job growth suggested increasing economic stability, uncertainty over inflation and consumer concerns about high prices for housing, gas, and food kept optimism in check.
This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings on inflation and the University of Michigan’s preliminary monthly report on consumer sentiment along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims.