December 11, 2018
On Friday we had the last jobs report before the Federal Reserve Board meets again next week to consider whether to raise interest rates one more time in 2018. Heading into the report, market analysts were pegging the probability of a hike at close to 80%. The volatility in the stock and oil markets did not seem to sway market analysts much with
regard to feeling that the Fed would back off. With the jobs numbers out, the probability of a rate hike initially trended lower, but was still greater than 70%.
The fact that the economy added 155,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate remained at 3.7%, was seen as somewhat disappointing. Additional data included the revision downward of previous reports by 12,000 jobs and wage inflation at 0.3% monthly and 3.1% on an annual basis. Wage inflation is a major indicator being watched by the Fed.
Usually, when we get close to a possible rate hike, long-term rates are moving upward in anticipation of the move. However, rates have been falling since a recovery from a spike in early November. There was also a spike in early October, but rates eased back then as well. The stock market volatility certainly has been a major factor in keeping rates in check recently. Overall, the trend has been higher this entire year, with the Fed raising short-term rates in the face of strong economic news. Because the Fed has provided hints that they are coming.
Source: Origination Pro
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