1. Home
  2. Blog
  3. Economic Insights
  4. Inflation Numbers Beat Expectations – Market Update

I hope everyone had a good Father’s Day! I’m not a father, but I definitely feel like I ate too much at the family barbecue yesterday.

The markets can never have enough data to feast on, and last week there was no shortage. Let’s dig into it.

Headline News

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

Consumer prices are moving in line with analyst expectations, having risen 0.2% in May and moving up 2.8% on the year. The monthly gain persisted even when food and energy were taken out. Annually, this court category reading shows a 2.2% inflation rate.

Gas prices saw the biggest jump, up 1.7%. Both rent and owner’s equivalent rent – a measurement of how much a homeowner could expect to pay if renting a similar space – were up 0.3%. There was a spike for hospital services and related items, but outside of that, the cost of health care didn’t change much.

New cars were up 0.3% in price, but used cars were down 0.9%. The cost of apparel was flat and there was a 1.9% decline in flight prices.

Quicken Loans Home Price Perception Index (HPPI)

Homeowners and appraisers were just 0.01% for their part on opinions of home value last month. This is still the second closest they’ve been to agreement in the last three years.

Looking at regional data, homeowners in the West overvalued their homes by just 0.13%, followed by the South and Midwest at 0.37% and 0.41% high, respectively. Finally, the Northeast brings up the rear, overvaluing homes by 0.49%.

In terms of city data, there’s a lot of good news to report, with only six of 27 cities measured having homeowner perceptions that are higher than actual appraised values. San Jose, California has the biggest gap on the positive side, with appraisals coming in 2.82% higher than homeowner estimates. Meanwhile, Chicago homeowners are on the other side, overvaluing by 1.69%. The Tampa, Florida market is closest to equilibrium with homeowners overvaluing homes by a minuscule 0.06%.

Quicken Loans Home Value Index (HVI)

Home values were up 0.71% overall across the nation in May and have risen 6.56% annually, driven by low inventory in the market.

The West actually saw a drop in prices in May, going down 1.41%. However, this represents only a slight setback, with prices still at 6.30% on the year. In the South, values were up 1.05% on the month and 6.42% on the year. Midwestern homeowners have seen values rise 5.91% yearly after going up 1.09% on the month of May. Northeastern home values got a real boost, up 4.33% monthly and 8.42% since last year.

MBA Mortgage Applications

Mortgage applications were down 1.5% last week with both purchase and refinance applications falling 2.0%. Purchases still make up 65.4% of overall mortgage activity.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed conforming mortgage was 4.83%, up eight basis points.

Producer Price Index (PPI)

Prices to produce goods and services were up 0.5% on the month and have risen 3.1% on the year. Much of the big jump that is being blamed on steel and aluminum tariffs put in place by the Trump administration.

When food and energy are taken out of the equation, prices were up 0.3% and 2.4% on the year. When trade services, which were up 0.9% on the month, are further taken out, the reading goes down to a gain of 0.1%.

Steel mill products saw a 4.3% increase in prices while aluminum prices were up 5.0% and have caused a 1.0% rise in the cost of finished goods.

Jobless Claims

Initial jobless claims fell 4,000 to a total of 218,000. The four-week moving average was down 1,250, coming in at 224,250.

On the continuing claims side of the ledger the four-week moving average is down 4,000 to 1.726 million. The much bigger drop came in the weekly numbers which showed a decrease of 49,000 in continuing claims to come in at 1.697 million.

Retail Sales

Retail sales were up 0.8% in the month of May, easily beating expectations for a 0.4% increase. When motor vehicles were taken out, this was up 0.9%. When gas was further removed, monthly numbers came in at 0.8%.

Taking a look at individual categories, restaurant sales were up 1.3%. There was a 0.5% increase in motor vehicle sales. Homebuilding and improvement season seems to be kicking with building materials up 2.4%. Department stores side 1.5% gain in sales clothing stores were up 1.3% on the month. Finally, gasoline prices were up 2.0% with holiday travel.

It wasn’t all rosy. Furniture prices were down in May and there was a smaller than expected 0.1% increase in e-commerce sales.

Industrial Production

Overall production was down 0.1% in May as manufacturing fell 0.7%. Much of the manufacturing drop is being blamed on a fire at an auto parts supplier in Michigan that caused a 6.5% downturn in automobile production.

High-tech production was up only 0.2% and business equipment production was down 1.1%. Even with vehicles out of the mix, manufacturing overall was down 0.2%. Primary metal production has gone down as a result of the tariffs.

Mining was up 1.8%, but it makes up a small portion of overall production, so it wasn’t enough to offset losses in other areas. Meanwhile, utility production was up 1.1% in May. Finally, capacity utilization and factors are at 77.9%, down 0.2% from the month prior.

Consumer Sentiment

Consumers are still fairly pretty good about where things are at. The reading was up 1.3 points to come in at 99.3.

The current conditions component in the index is up more than six points to come in at 117.9. People plan to buy more and household finances are in good shape. This was more than enough to make up for a nearly 2 point decline in expectations to 87.4. Consumers are a little more worried about the economy.

Inflation expectations were up 0.1% for both one and five-year outlooks, coming in at 2.9% and 2.6%.

Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates were up last week without exception. The Federal Reserve chose to raise short-term interest rates by 25 basis points. Although short-term rates don’t have a direct correlation to longer-term rates, when one is up, it’s not unusual for the other to follow.

Rates haven’t been trending in a favorable direction this year. If you see one you like, go ahead and jump on it, whether you’re in the market to buy or refinance. Timing the market can be a risky game.

A 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.62% last week with 0.4 points in fees, up eight basis points. This is up from 3.91% at the same time a year ago.

In shorter terms, the cost of a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was up an average of six basis points to 4.07% with 0.4 points. This is up from 3.18% a year ago.

In terms of adjustable rates, the cost of a 5-year treasury-indexed hybrid ARM was 3.83% with 0.3 points, up nine basis points on the week. Last year, the rate was 3.15%.

Stock Market

After falling as much as 280.93 points at one point on Friday, the stock market made a comeback and curbed its losses. The market is still hopeful for a resolution that averts a trade war with China.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.89% on the week after falling 84.83 points at Friday’s close to finish at 25,090.48. The S&P 500 had a better week, down just 2.83 points on the day to close at 2,779.66, up 0.02% weekly. It was a much better week for the Nasdaq which finished Friday at 7,645.51, up 10.44 points and 1.21% on the week.

If you’re in our Fantasy Stock League, things could have gone either way for you based on these numbers.

The Week Ahead

Monday, June 18

Housing Market Index (10:00 a.m. ET) – The National Association of Home Builders produces a housing market index based on a survey where respondents from the organization are asked to rate the general economy and housing market conditions. The index is a weighted average of separate diffusion indexes, including present sales of new homes, sales of new homes expected in the next six months and traffic of prospective buyers in new homes.

Tuesday, June 19

Housing Starts (8:30 a.m. ET) – A housing start is registered when the construction of a new residential building begins. The start of construction is defined as the beginning of excavation of the foundation for the building.

Wednesday, June 20

MBA Mortgage Applications (7:00 a.m. ET) – The mortgage applications index measures applications to mortgage lenders. This is a leading indicator for single-family home sales and housing construction.

Existing Home Sales (10:00 a.m. ET) – Existing Home Sales tallies the number of previously constructed homes, condominiums and co-ops in which a sale closed during the month. Existing homes (also known as home resales) account for a larger share of the market than new homes and indicate housing market trends.

Thursday, June 21

Jobless Claims (8:30 a.m. ET) – New unemployment claims are compiled weekly to show the number of individuals filing for unemployment insurance for the first time. An increasing trend suggests a deteriorating labor market. The four-week moving average of new claims smooths out weekly volatility.

FHFA House Price Index (9:00 a.m. ET) – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI) covers single-family housing using data provided by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The HPI is derived from transactions involving conforming conventional mortgages purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

It’s a little lighter on the data front next week. Nevertheless, we’ll have it all covered for you in Market Update.

If economic data isn’t enough to get you out of the Monday malaise, we’ve got plenty of home, money and lifestyle content you can check out if you subscribe to the Zing Blog. This week, I thought I would get in the spirit of the season and shares some of our best tips for throwing a graduation party on a budget. Have a great week!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *