Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Actions Speak Louder than Words...

That familiar phrase is especially true at the moment, as we wait for decisive action on both the government shutdown and the debt ceiling debate. Read on for details.

Economic reports continued to be delayed last week as both the Retail Sales Report and the wholesale inflation measuring Producer Price Index for September were not released due to the government shutdown. One report that was released was weekly Initial Jobless Claims, which jumped by 66,000 in the latest week to the highest level in six months. However, the Labor Department said that ongoing application processing problems in California and government shutdown related layoffs accounted for nearly two-thirds of the increase.

There was also some important housing news to note last week as research firm CoreLogic reported that foreclosure inventories in August dropped by 33 percent nationally compared to August 2012. This was the twenty-second consecutive month with a year-over-year decline. As of August 2013, the foreclosure inventory represented 2.4 percent of all homes with a mortgage, compared to 3.3 percent in August 2012.

The minutes from the Fed's September meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee were released, showing that all FOMC members except one want to see more evidence of sustainable economic progress before they trim their Bond purchases. Remember that the Fed has been purchasing $85 billion in Bonds and Treasuries each month to stimulate the economy and housing market. With key economic reports delayed due to the shutdown, there is not much chance the Fed will taper its purchases in the near future.

But the biggest news continues to be the ongoing debate regarding the debt ceiling. Reminder that the debt limit, currently at $16.7 trillion, is the total amount of money that the United States government is authorized to borrow to meet its existing legal obligations, including Social Security and Medicare benefits, military salaries, interest on the national debt, tax refunds, and other payments. If an agreement is not reached by the October 17 deadline and the U.S. defaults on its debt, the results could be catastrophic for our economy. This is a key story that needs decisive action in the days ahead.

The bottom line is that home loan rates remain attractive compared to historical levels and now remains a great time to consider Purchasing a Lake of the Ozarks Home or refinance. Let me know if I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients.

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