Economic update for the week ending April 16, 2022

Stocks down for a second straight week – Stock markets dropped and interest rates continued to rise this week. The March CPI report was released on Tuesday. It showed that consumer prices rose 8.5% in March. That marked the highest inflation rate since 1981. Core inflation, which excludes food and energy, was up 6.5%. The core inflation rate showed that aside from food and energy inflation may be beginning to moderate. Unfortunately, with bans on Russian oil which makes up 12% of the world’s oil supply energy prices are not expected to moderate for some time. That will force prices for everything higher in the near future. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 34,451.23, down 0.8% from 34,721.12 last week. It’s down 5.2% year-to-date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 4,392.28, down 2.1% from 4,488.28 last week. The S&P is down 7.8% year-to-date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 13,351.08, down 2.6% from 13,711.00 last week. It is down 14.7%, year-to-date. 

U.S. Treasury bond yields – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 2.83%, up from 2.72% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 2.92%, up from 2.76% last week. We watch bond yields because mortgage rates often follow treasury bond yields. 

Mortgage rates – Home mortgage rates continued to increase this week. Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that mortgage rates as of April 14, 2022 for the most popular loan products were as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 5.00%, up from 4.72% last week. The 15-year fixed was 4.17% up from 3.91% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.69%, up from 3.56% last week.  

March home sales figures will be released by The California Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors next week. Those figures will be in next weekend’s report. You can get March sales figures for your city or zip code from my website now. The data shows the number of sales down, fewer new listings, and steep price increases. 

Happy Passover and Happy Easter to those who celebrate. Have a great weekend!