Last week’s economic releases included readings on consumer credit, job openings and weekly reports on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims.
Consumer Credit Use, Job Openings Slow in June
Consumer credit use slowed in June as credit card use lost ground. Non-revolving credit, which typically includes education and auto loans, grew at its slowest pace in three months. Mortgage loans are not included in the Federal Reserve’s report on consumer credit. Consumer credit use grew by $14.6 billion year-over-year in June as compared to May’s year-over-year reading of $16.0 billion.
Year-over-year credit use fell one percent in June to 4.30 as compared to May’s year-over-year reading of 5.30 percent. Credit card use fell by 0.10 percent in June, which suggested that consumers held off on large purchases. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said ,”households are in pretty good shape overall.” in reference to current economic conditions.
Job openings fell in June, but maintained a 15-month streak of seven million or more job openings. There were 7.35 million jobs open in June as compared to May’s reading of 7.38 million jobs open. Job openings rose in retail and real estate, but were lower in construction, leisure and hospitality categories.
Analysts said that shortages of skilled labor and fears over the effects of trade wars caused fewer hires. The trade war with China has not broken the longest period of economic growth in U.S. history, but escalation of trade disputes could further slow economic growth if trade wars aren’t resolved.
Mortgage Rates, Weekly Jobless Claims Fall
Mortgage rates dropped last week according to Freddie Mac. Rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.60 percent and were 15 basis points lower. Rates for 15-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.05 percent and were 15 basis points lower.
The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages dropped ten basis points to 3.36 percent. Discount points averaged 0.60 percent, 0.50 percent and 0.30 percent respectively.
Initial jobless claims fell last week to 209,000 new claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 217,000 first-time claims filed. Analysts expected a reading of 215,000 new jobless claims filed for last week.
This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on housing market conditions, housing starts and building permits issued. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and initial jobless claims will also be released.