Mortgage bond prices finished the week lower which put upward pressure on rates. Rates were higher the beginning and end of the week with only a slight reprieve Thursday morning. News reports focused on additional stimulus talks between Congress and the US Administration. Stocks reacted strongly both negatively and positively to various developments on that front. The Fed minutes indicated “Housing-sector activity continued to expand, likely supported by the effects of low interest rates.” There were few data releases. The trade deficit was $67.1B vs the expected $66.2B. Weekly jobless claims were 840K vs 830K. The data did not move rates. Mortgage interest rates finished the week worse by approximately 1/4 of a discount point.


Economic IndicatorRelease Date & TimeConsensus EstimateAnalysis
Consumer Price IndexTuesday, Oct. 13,
8:30 am, et
Up 0.2%,
Core up 0.2%
Important. An indication of inflationary pressures at the consumer level. Weaker figures may lead to lower rates.
Producer Price IndexWednesday, Oct. 14,
8:30 am, et
Up 0.3%,
Core up 0.2%
Important. A measure of inflation at the producer level. Weaker figures may lead to lower rates.
Weekly Jobless ClaimsThursday, Oct. 15,
8:30 am, et
840KImportant. An indication of employment. Higher claims may result in lower rates.
Philadelphia Fed SurveyThursday, Oct. 15,
10:00 am, et
42Moderately important. A survey of business conditions in the Northeast. Weakness may lead to lower rates.
Retail SalesFriday, Oct. 16,
8:30 am, et
Up 0.8%Important. A measure of consumer demand. A smaller than expected increase may lead to lower mortgage rates.
Industrial ProductionFriday, Oct. 16,
9:15 am, et
Up 0.4%Important. A measure of manufacturing sector strength. A lower than expected increase may lead to lower rates.
Capacity UtilizationFriday, Oct. 16,
9:15 am, et
71.3%Important. A figure above 85% is viewed as inflationary. Weaker figure may lead to lower rates.
U of Michigan Consumer SentimentFriday, Oct. 16,
10:00 am, et
81.0Important. An indication of consumers’ willingness to spend. Weakness may lead to lower mortgage rates.

Federal Reserve Banks were created to control the central banking system of the United States. The banks are divided into 12 districts and facilitate the monetary system by moving currency in and out of circulation in accordance with the policies set by the Federal Open Market Committee. The Reserve Banks handle check processing, hold cash reserves, and make loans to depository institutions. Each Reserve Bank regulates commercial banks in their district. The twelve districts include Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco. The Philadelphia Fed report is a survey of manufacturing businesses in the Northeast region. The report is valuable due to the timing. It is released before the month is over and is the second regional report released. While there are many other regional reports throughout the month the Philadelphia Fed report is considered the most valuable. It has historically shown strong correlation with purchasing managers index data and therefore analysts give it considerable attention.