Interest Rate Roundup

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

In other econ news ...

* Mortgage applications essentially treaded water in the week ended February 2. Purchases were down 0.8% from the week prior, while refinancings ticked up 0.2%. Home buying activity, as measured by these Mortgage Bankers Association figures, is off its July-October low but well below its 2005 high (and its recent high for that matter).

* Fourth-quarter productivity jumped 3%, versus expectations for a gain of 2%, and a big improvement from -0.1% in Q3. Unit labor costs rose 1.7%, down from 3.2% a quarter earlier and below forecasts for a gain of 2.1%. This will soothe labor-related inflation concerns and allow the Fed to continue to pursue a policy of: "Laissez les bon temps roulez!"


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