Last Week's Indices Help Hold Mortgage Rates Steady
March 8, 2010 - Last week saw mortgage rates holding relatively steady even though the first-of-the month cascade of data revealed a bit more hope for the budding economic recovery. The ISM Manufacturing Index expanded for the seventh straight month, but a slower pace than previously noted before. Dipping to 56.5, February's reading was slightly lower than most economists' predictions. The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index rose to 53% during the month of February. Up from January's 50.5%, last month's index was best reading seen since December 2007. Both of the ISM surveys and a few other indices are starting to show some signs that we may see increases in employment in the next few months.
This week is lighter in terms of economic news, but retail sales data is due. With consumer moods darkening some, a drop in sales could help hold rates down.