The Labor Department reports new applications for unemployment benefits rose by 3,000 to 244,000 in the week that ended August 5. Economists expected 242,000. Continuing claims fell by 16,000 to 1.95 million in the week that ended July 29.
Freddie Mac reports the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.90% down from last week’s 3.93%. A year ago it was 3.45%. The 15-year fixed averaged 3.18%, same as last week. A year ago it was 2.76%.
Wage growth in the U.S. economy remains modest in part because of sluggish productivity, according to New York Fed President William Dudley. As U.S. economic leaders consider how to address income inequality, they should also consider how to improve productivity, because that would help raise the level of household income, Dudley said in prepared remarks to reportersin New York. He said his bank’s economists project continued moderate growth in the economy and further strengthening of the labor market. Inflation should move up toward the bank’s 2% target "over the medium term."
Serving the West Side first, I am Bill Roller of BR Capital for 1360 KUIK.