The lack of job creation was highlighted again last week with the monthly employment numbers from the Labor Department. While 64,000 new jobs were created by private firms, the growth was not enough to offset the job losses in government jobs at both the Federal and state levels. Last month,
the economy lost 95,000 jobs, and mortgage rates slipped slightly downward in response. While
much of the economic news for the week was not all that positive, the ISM Services Index did manage
to come in with an increase, when no significant change was expected.
This week, we’ll get another glimpse into inflation, or the lack thereof, and retail sales. With GDP
running below 2%, inflationary pressures are likely to remain very muted. Both the Producer and
Consumer Price Indices are released this week. Readings at expectations will help hold rates low.
Retail sales data is also due this week, with an increase of 0.4% expected. If we see sales pull back
rather than grow, we could see mortgage rates moving downward some as the week ends.