Last week’s scheduled economic news included readings on consumer credit, job openings, jobless claims, and mortgage rates.
Consumer Borrowing Declined at Slower Pace in May
According to Federal Reserve data, consumer borrowing fell at a slower annual pace of -5.30 percent in May as compared to April’s reading of -20 percent. Non-revolving consumer credit, which includes vehicle and student loans, increased by 2.30 percent in May. The Federal Reserve does not report on real estate loans.
Federal assistance programs including the first round of stimulus checks, additional unemployment payments and support for businesses contributed to better readings for the economy in May, but last week’s rising coronavirus cases may cause all or part of economic gains to be lost as local governments reverse decisions to reopen businesses and local government services.
Job Openings Rise in May as Weekly Jobless Claims Fall
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 5.40 million job openings in May as compared to April’s 5.00 million job openings. Rising job openings coincided with reopening business and government services as state and local authorities eased stay-at-home requirements and began easing restrictions on economic activity.
Weekly jobless claims were also lower than for the preceding week. 1.31 million initial jobless claims were filed last week as compared to the prior week’s reading of 1.41 million first-time claims filed. Ongoing jobless claims fell to 18.10 million claims from the prior week’s reading of 18.80 million continuing jobless claims. Jobless claims remained much higher than pre-pandemic readings.
Mortgage Rates Drop to Record Lows
Freddie Mac reported the lowest recorded average mortgage rates as rates for fixed-rate mortgages dropped by four basis points to 3.03 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and fell by five basis points to 2.51 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages rose two basis points to 3.02 percent; discount points averaged 0.80 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.
The U.S. Senate is expected to work on its version of the next Coronavirus relief package next week; it should be completed by the end of July or in early August.
This week’s scheduled economic news includes reports on housing markets, housing starts, and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.