Weekly Economic Update
June 18, 2018
FED, NEW TARIFFS GET WALL STREET’S ATTENTION
As expected, the Federal Reserve adjusted the target range on the federal funds rate to 1.75%-2.00% on Wednesday. The central bank’s latest dot-plot projection, however, raised some eyebrows: it showed four interest rate increases planned for 2018 instead of three. The median forecast of Fed officials puts the benchmark interest rate at 2.4% at the end of this year, on the way to a peak of 3.4% in 2020. Friday morning, the Trump administration announced new 25% tariffs on at least $34 billion of Chinese imports. Hours later, China retaliated, declaring that it would levy 25% import taxes on a minimum of $34 billion of goods from America. The U.S. and China both plan to implement their new tariffs on July 6. 1,2
YEARLY INFLATION REACHES 2.8%
The latest Consumer Price Index shows the highest 12-month inflation reading in six years; the core CPI (which leaves out food and fuel costs) rose 2.2% in the year ending in May. Both the headline and core CPI were up 0.2% last month. Wholesale inflation, as measured by the Producer Price Index, increased 0.5% in May. 3,4
AN IMPRESSIVE ADVANCE FOR RETAIL SALES
According to the Department of Commerce, the May gain was 0.8% (0.9% with car and truck buying factored out). This follows an April improvement of 0.4% (revised up from 0.3%). 4
A MIXED WEEK FOR THE MAJOR INDICES
Once again, the Nasdaq Composite outran the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500. Last week, the tech benchmark added 1.32% to settle at 7,746.38 at Friday’s closing bell. The S&P 500 ended up flat for the week (+0.01%) at 2,779.42. At Friday’s close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had slipped 0.89% in five days to 25,090.48. 5
THIS WEEK : Nothing major is slated for Monday. Wall Street considers earnings from FedEx, La-Z-Boy, and Oracle on Tuesday, along with the latest Census Bureau snapshot of housing construction activity. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell discusses monetary policy at a European Central Bank forum on Wednesday morning; investors will also eye earnings from Micron Technology, Steelcase, and Winnebago, and a National Association of Realtors report on existing home sales. Thursday, the Conference Board issues its May leading indicators index, a new initial jobless claims report arrives, and Barnes & Noble, Darden Restaurants, Kroger, and Red Hat present earnings. Friday, Blackberry, and CarMax offer Q1 results.
Custom Quote In Seconds!
Use our 3 Step form to instantly see live rates along with closing costs.
"Michael Visser took great care of us on our mortgage. On top of that, he gave us other business advice that was extremely helpful. He knows much more than just the mortgage business. And that is what sets him apart from the competition. Fantastic rate to boot!"
"Mike Visser with Axent Funding has done both my mortgage and my refinance on my house. He was referred to me by my real estate agent. My real estate agent sends most of her clients to Mike for mortgage processing. Both of the loans he has arranged for me have been very smooth. He always makes sure that I am aware of what is going on in the loan process. He made sure I stayed alert to action items I needed to complete to keep the loan process progressing. This last Refinance I thought it would take about a month but it only took 18 days from application to closing including weekends. I have gotten emails from Mike at 11:30 at night so I know he works long hours and weekends to keep the loan process short. I had shopped my refinance at other places and they charged a lot more in fees."
"We just closed on our home and I can say that Axent Funding was great to work with every step of the way. We had peace of mind and confidence throughout the entire process because of Michael's experience. Our confidence was validated when we closed on schedule without any surprises, with a great rate! Thanks Michael!"