With the release of the CPI and PPI we received a clearer picture of what’s ahead. With the inflation numbers for CPI (Consumer Price Index) arriving a bit warmer than expected, there was some speculation that it could cause some hesitation from the Federal Reserve on reducing rates for this year.
We also were able to see the Year-over-Year CPI inflation rates with those as well coming in at slightly higher than expected. The projected outlook for the first quarter is likely that the Federal Reserve will hold its position and continue with maintaining interest rates as they have.
Although lending rates have drastically come down, much of it will depend on where the Federal Reserve moves this quarter or the next.
Consumer Price Index
Consumer prices rose somewhat faster at the end of 2023 and interrupted a slowdown in inflation, but the recent evidence still points to a further deceleration in the months ahead. The consumer price index rose 0.3% in December to mark the biggest gain in three months.
The rate of inflation over the past year also moved up to 3.4% from 3.1% in the prior month.
Producer Price Index
U.S. wholesale prices fell in December for the third month in a row, pointing to decelerating inflation in the months ahead.
The wholesale report might keep those hopes alive, especially since a weak PPI often portends a mild reading in the PCE index. That’s the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation.
Primary Mortgage Market Survey Index
• 15-Yr FRM rates saw a decrease by -0.02% with the current rate at 5.87%
• 30-Yr FRM rates saw an increase by 0.04% with the current rate at 6.66%
MND Rate Index
• 30-Yr FHA rates saw a -0.16% decrease for this week. Current rates at 6.00%
• 30-Yr VA rates saw a -0.15% decrease for this week. Current rates at 6.01%
Initial Claims were reported to be 202,000 compared to the expected claims of 210,000. The prior week was 202,000.
After the FOMC minutes for this week, next week should be a light release week with one major report being the Consumer Price Index and Producer Price Index which will show the inflation rates over December.