Last week's economic reports included readings on U.S. housing markets, housing starts and building permits, and the scheduled post-meeting statement from the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve. Data on sales of previously owned homes were released along with weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims.
Inflation rose at a pace of 0.20 percent in July and met analysts' expectations. There was no change in the pace of month-to-month inflation from June's reading of 0.20 percent growth. The Consumer Price Index also reported that year-over-year inflation reached 9.10 percent, which was the highest reading since reaching a 40-year high in mid-2022.
Last week's scheduled economic reporting included readings on construction spending, public and private sector payroll growth, and the national unemployment rate. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released.
The National Association of Home Builders reported a one-point gain in home builder confidence with an index reading of 56 for July. Analysts predicted a reading of 57 and June's reading was 55. Readings over 50 indicate that most home builders are confident about current U.S. housing market conditions. Overall homebuilder confidence rose for the seventh consecutive month in July.
The Consumer Price Index for June rose 0.20 percent in June as compared to May's reading of 0.10 percent growth and expectations of 0.30 percent month-to-month growth. The core CPI reading, which excludes volatile food and fuel sectors, fell to 0.20 percent growth in June as compared to May's month-to-month reading of 0.40 percent growth.
Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates last week. The average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by four basis points to 6.71 percent; the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by three basis points to 6.06 percent.
The top three cities with the highest home price growth rates as reported in April's S&P Case-Shiller's 20-City Home Price Index were Chicago, Illinois with a year-over-year home price gain of 4.10 percent; Atlanta, Georgia posted a year-over-year home price growth of 3.50 percent.
Federal Reserve policymakers left the Fed's current interest rate range unchanged at 5.00 to 5.25 percent; the Fed decision was announced after a scheduled meeting of the Fed's Open Market Committee ended on Wednesday.
Last week's scheduled economic news included results from Fannie Mae's National Housing Survey and weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims.
Limited supplies of homes for sale drove home prices up in March. Home prices rose by 0.40 percent month-to-month as compared to 0.70 percent year-over-year. Cities with the highest rates of home price growth were Miami, Florida, where home prices rose 7.70 percent year-over-year, Tampa, Florida with a year-over-year pace of 4.80 percent home price growth, and Charlotte, North Carolina, where home prices rose by 4.70 percent year-over-year.