Economists Anticipate an Optimistic FOMC Meeting; CPI and PPI Due This Week
March 15, 2010 - Last week saw mortgage rates again holding steady, as investors balanced economic news and the pending end to the Federal Reserve's program of buying mortgage debt. February's retail sales reports reflected a 0.3% increase, totaling to $355 billion for the month. Electronics and appliances saw the largest surge, rising 3.7% from January's numbers. According to March's consumer sentiment report, opinions on the current economy are still a bit unsteady. Dipping slightly to 72.5, the sentiment report indicates that consumers are waiting for more positive data before they become secure with the economy's current state.
Markets will have plenty to digest this week, with many important economic reports and a meeting of the Fed. With such a muted reaction after the Fed raised its discount rate at its last meeting, some analysts are expecting the discount rate to go up again. Every indication that the Fed believes we are returning to a normalized economy. This week will also see releases of both the CPI and PPI. Inflation remains below the radar with a moderate but steady economic recovery.