More Economic News

Posted by Bruce W. Woolpert on Mar 18, 2015

Mortgage rates have fallen to their lowest levels since modern records started in 1971. Average 30-year mortgage rate fell to 3.94% last week in response to Federal Reserve Bank plans to purchase long-term securities pushing down long-term rates tied to mortgages. Fifteen year fixed mortgages are down to 3.26%. It is hoped that lower mortgage interest rates will help Americans keep their homes and encourage new homeowners to enter the market.

If Congress passes the China Currency Bill, American business is likely to bring some manufacturing jobs back to the United States. A study by the Boston Consulting Group reports that rising wages in China, transportation costs for good‟s shipment back to the United States, and a higher value for Chinese currency would result in an 800,000 job increase in the U.S. manufacturing sector. At the present time, the Chinese currency is undervalued by about 40% which makes Chinese made products appear to be "discounted by 40%." The currency difference alone makes it very difficult to compete with Chinese made products.

The U.S. economy added 103,000 jobs in September, with the private sector contributing 137,000 jobs. Data from various payrolls for the previous two months were revised up by a total 99,000. The unemployment rate, which is obtained from a separate household survey, held at 9.1% for the third month in a row. The results were better than expected. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast payrolls would rise by 60,000 last month, with the unemployment rate at 9.1%. A broader measure of the unemployment rate, which includes people who stopped looking for work and those settling for part-time jobs, rose to 16.5% in September from 16.2% the previous month.

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