Last week’s economic reporting included readings on job openings and quits, month-to-month and year-over-year readings on inflation, and the University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment survey for December. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released
Job Openings Increase as Quits Decrease as Inflation Remains High
The U.S. Labor Department reported that workers quit their jobs at record levels in October as job openings rose to 11 million openings as compared to expectations of 10.6 million job vacancies, which matched September’s reading for job openings. Fewer people quit jobs in October as 4.2 million workers left their jobs as compared to 4.4 million quits reported in September. The Labor Department said that many quits were driven by workers leaving for better jobs and career opportunities.
Analysts said that if job quits continue at their current pace through the end of 2021, new records for job quits will be established.
The Consumer Price Index, which measures U.S. inflation, rose by 0.80 percent from October to November. Analysts expected a monthly increase of 0.70 percent based on October’s month-to-month reading of 0.90 percent. The year-over-year inflation rate rose to 6.80 percent in November and surpassed October’s reading of 6.20 percent and the expected reading of 6.70 percent.
Mortgage Rates Lower, Jobless Claims Mixed
Freddie Mac reported slightly lower mortgage rates last week as the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by one basis point to 3.01 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.38 percent and one basis point lower than for the previous week. Mortgage rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged four basis points lower at 2.45 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.
Initial jobless claims fell to 184,000 first-time claims filed as compared to 227,000 claims filed during the previous week. Analysts expected 211,000 initial jobless claims to be filed last week. Continuing jobless claims rose to 1.99 million ongoing claims filed. Analysts expected 1.95 million continuing claims filings based on the prior week’s reading of 1.96 million ongoing jobless claims filed.
The University of Michigan reported rising consumer confidence in economic conditions for December with an index reading of 70.4. Analysts expected a reading of 68.0 based n November’s index reading of 67.4. Index readings above 50 indicate that most consumers are confident about current economic conditions.
This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings from the National Association of Home Builders on housing markets, The post-meeting statement from the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee will be released and Fed Chair Jerome Powell will hold a press conference. The Commerce Department will release readings on housing starts and building permits issued. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.