4/8/21: EconUpdate by P. Duffy

EconUpdate by P. Duffy


Purchase loan apps dip 5 percent from previous week, but up 51 percent year-on-year

What does this mean?  Rising interest rates are impacting demand for refinances, but purchase loans remain in high demand.

The Market Composite Index for mortgage apps decreased 5.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans falling 5 percent (but up 51 percent year-on-year) and refinance activity falling 5 percent (and down 20 percent year-on-year).  The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.36 percent from 3.33 percent.


Job openings rose another 3.8 percent in February, but still 1.4 unemployed persons per job

What does this mean? Although job gains are reducing the total number of unemployed persons, total recovery will take time.

The number of job openings edged up 3.8 percent to 7.4 million on the last business day of February. There were just under 10 million officially unemployed persons in February, for an overhang of 2.6 million vs. available jobs, down 24 percent from January.  The number of unemployed persons per job remained unchanged from January at 1.4, but is just 28 percent of last April’s high of 5.0.


American’s worry about catching Covid-19 drops to record low

What does this mean? While the drop in concern is boosting consumer confidence, health care experts remain concerned about letting our guards down too soon.

35 percent of U.S. adults now say they are very or somewhat worried about contracting COVID-19, the lowest point in Gallup’s trend since April 2020.  77 percent say the COVID-19 situation in the U.S. is improving, up from 60 percent, and 64 percent report at least a fair amount of disruption to their lives, down from 70 percent.