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Rates Fluctuating with Mixed Economic Data | May 31, 2024

Throughout the week, economic numbers remained the primary influencers of rate trends. Mortgages initially declined at the start of the short week following the Conference Board’s release of higher-than-expected figures in the Consumer Confidence Report. This downward trend persisted due to lackluster US Treasury auctions later that day. 

The tide turned on Thursday with the release of positive job reports, which indicated a robust labor market. A strong labor market is typically an indication that higher-than-desired inflation rates may continue. Additionally, Friday’s Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) numbers were neutral. These two data points reversed the week’s downtrend in rates. 

The Federal Reserve remains cautious and awaits a more significant decrease in PCE and CPI numbers before considering any rate cuts in the upcoming months. This stance reflects concerns about persistent inflationary pressures and the Fed’s commitment to its inflation targets.