Market Forecast: JOLTS, Mortgage Apps, and Consumer Credit

Posted On June 05, 2017

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Mortgage rates did not move much last week, hovering the year-long low.  This week will be light on housing news, aside from the weekly mortgage application survey.  Other significant economic reports include the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and the consumer credit report.

The Labor Department’s JOLTS report tracks changes in job openings, hirings, and quits from month-to-month.  Though the data lags by one month, it is still effective in evaluating the job market.  Workers who are confident in finding a new job are more willing to voluntarily quit their current position.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) releases a weekly survey of new purchase and refinance applications.  Despite rates hovering year-long lows, May’s numbers were volatile.  For the week ending 5/26, new purchase applications declined 1.0% and refinance applications declined 6.0%.

Consumer credit measures total outstanding credit.  Revolving credit accounts for monthly credit card purchases and nonrevolving credit is comprised of longer-term debts like student loans and car payments.  Healthy growth in consumer credit indicates a confident economy where consumers are borrowing and repaying their debts.  Too much growth can be a sign of problems ahead, with consumers borrowing too much to offset inflating costs.

Next week, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is scheduled to meet Tuesday and Wednesday.  The FOMC did not hike rates at the May meeting and is expected to make a move after this meeting.  Last week’s soft jobs report and some market volatility may cause the FOMC to hold off on rapid rate hikes.


Sources: Bloomberg, MarketWatch, Mortgage News Daily