Consumers continue to drive economic expansion - Movement Mortgage Blog

The Dow Jones rallied by nearly 300 points this week because of strong economic expansion data with consumers leading the way. Retail sales went up for the third straight month, according to the Commerce Department, with December’s data showing at 0.3% increase. November’s numbers were also revised up to show a 0.3% increase as well. Even better, the core retail sales which exclude automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, went up by 0.5% in December. 

The strong data released on Thursday prompted a rise in the 10- and 30-year Treasury note yields. They closed Thursday at 1.812% and 2.262%, respectively. 

International markets
  • The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved (89-10) the new trade deal between the U.S., Mexico and Canada on Thursday, helping send all three major markets to record highs.
  • The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.
  • The “phase one” trade deal between the U.S and China was signed on Wednesday.
  • The deal features an agreement for China to buy an additional $200 billion in U.S. goods. It would start with $77 billion of additional purchases this year and $123 billion in 2021.
  • The purchases by China will be in the form of manufactured goods, agriculture, energy and services. 
  • The manufacturing purchases alone will add up to $32.9 billion in 2020 and $44.8 billion in 2021. 
  • Tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods will not be lifted just yet.
Refis stall relocation

This past year was an incredible year for the refi industry which also means that people, quite frankly, didn’t move. The latest report from Buildfax shows that 2019 recorded the lowest mobility rate since 1947, the year that piece of data began being tracked. 

Rates continue to be low and steady at 3.65% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage average according to Freddie Mac. While those rates are ideal, and consumer spending is high, inventory will continue to be a primary issue for the housing industry this year.

About the Author:

Movement Staff

The Market Update is a weekly commentary compiled by a group of Movement Mortgage capital markets analysts with decades of combined expertise in the financial field. Movement's staff helps take complicated economic topics and turn them into a useful, easy to understand analysis to help you make the best decisions for your financial future.