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Last Updated:
April 25, 2011

Maryland Real Estate

This week will be jam-packed with economic reports that can have a big impact on the markets and home loan rates:

We’ll see more housing news this week with the New Home Sales report right away Monday morning, followed by the Pending Home Sales report on Thursday.

Consumers are also in the news this week. First, we’ll see the Consumer Confidence report on Tuesday, followed by the Consumer Sentiment Index on Friday. Both those reports give us some insight into how confident consumers are in the economy. Second, we’ll get a look at Personal Spending and Personal Income on Friday - which provide insight into the financial picture of consumers.

The Federal Reserve holds its FOMC meeting this Tuesday and Wednesday, with the release of its Policy Statement coming Wednesday afternoon. As always, what the Fed says could impact home loan rates.

Speaking of the Fed, we’ll see the Fed’s favorite gauge of inflation this Friday in the Personal Consumption Expenditures report.

We’ll also get a read on the economic recovery with Wednesday’s Durable Good Orders, which gives us an update on consumer and business buying behavior on big-ticket items that are designed to last for an extended period of time, like furniture, televisions, appliances, vehicles, copy machines, and so on.

On Thursday, the markets will see the latest report on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - which is the broadest measure of economic activity - as well as Friday's Chicago PMI, which is a good indicator of overall economic activity.

The Jobless Claims report also comes out Thursday. In the latest week’s report, Initial Jobless Claims fell but still remained above that pesky 400,000 level as the job market continues to be a thorn in the side of the economy. Until we can see a pattern of unemployment claims well below 400,000, we will not see a significant fall in the Unemployment Rate.

Finally, on Friday the Employment Cost Index (ECI) will be released. The ECI is one way to evaluate wage trends and the risk of wage inflation, as well as possible price pressures. This is important to the housing industry because if wage inflation threatens, it is possible home loan rates will rise through Bond prices dropping.

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