Certainly depends on your perspective
For those out looking for a home who can lock in at the lowest interest rates we have seen for 13 weeks – good news. For businesses who are seeing growth and are capable of borrowing funds for expansion – good news. For those who for some reason have not already refinanced “old” loans to these historically low rates – good news. For investors who put their money in bonds during January – good news.
But for those interested in a strong economy and strong job creation certainly bad news.
Last week interest rates dropped once again. As of this morning, the average overnight rate on a conforming 30 year fixed loan as reported by Bankrate is down again for the 6th straight week. The drop was small, only 2 basis points to 4.29%. But it came in the same week that the Fed entered the second month of trimming their debt purchases by 10 billion dollars. But if the overall economy keeps sputtering the announced path of debt purchase reductions may change once again.
Interest rates are closely tied to the bellwether 10 year treasury notes whose yield on January 1st had jumped to 3.03% and now stands at 2.66%. Jobs once again, or lack of them, provided the bad news to continue the decline in bond yields and interest rates. During January job creation came in at 113,000 new jobs, far below the 185,000 that had been expected. Jobs for the federal government were cut by 12,000 during January while state and local governments dumped another 17,000 employees.
You may not know it but we here in America have a Chief US Economist of High Frequency Economics and he feels the lack of jobs is not critical and the long term national outlook remains positive with the “housing recovery picking up steam”. I am not kidding this was his quote not mine. Always interesting, always fun.