I have talked repeatedly about how the FED continues to look at old data when making decisions about FED policy. We have seen this repeatedly how many of the indicators the FED relies on get updated and revised so that the initial data was almost useless. As we saw in the spring, the FED was looking at inflation and siting the rise in used car prices and hotel rooms as a basis to keep raising interest rates. We all knew these were numbers that were months old, and that recent, more real time data was showing the opposite. They raised rates then, and they are poised to raise rates yet again! At least that’s what two FEB members were calling for this week.
FED member Bowman and Kashkari called for further rate hikes. Despite HUGE revisions in employment data, increasing initial jobless claims and continuing claims rising, oil prices and used car prices dropping; here they are, just looking backward to keep on raising rates. I guess Chairman Powell is correct in his comments that you can be at the FED for 10 years and still feel like a newbie! Well, of course you do; you guys NEVER seem to learn anything about the data you choose to use before making policy! FED moves take eight to twelve months to fully impact the economy. Why wouldn’t you trust the real time data? While not at the FED’s 2% target, the inflation trend is heading lower and pushing the economy into the ground isn’t a great plan!
While I know that the FED will site the strong consumer spending numbers, it is at the cost of reduced savings rates and HUGE increases in credit card debt! There is a real reason cash out refinances continue to rise! All of those 3% mortgages people were never going to give up; they are being refinanced at 7% and higher because 20%+ credit card rates are crushing monthly payments, not to mention the pressure of student loan repayments! Yet some on the FED don’t see it.
Some good news is that purchase loan applications are up 3% week over week and refinances are up 2% in that same time period. Many of those purchase applications are from people who explored buying a home earlier this year but held off until home prices fell, and interest rates came down. The shock to stop the losses is very real as neither of those two things took place. Might be a good time to reach back out and talk to your past inquiries to see if they are ready to go. We have about 30 more days to make a deal happen and close in time for the New Year! Questions or comments: [email protected]