U.S. home mortgage applications declined last week after both refinancing and home purchase requests declined, reported The Mortgage Bankers Association on Wednesday. The MBA said that its seasonally adjusted gauge of mortgage application activity, home purchase and refinancing applications, plunged 2.7 percent in the week through August 8.
The index of refinancing requests plunged 4.0 percent, while that for home purchase loan applications, declined 1.0 percent, reported Reuters. The rates for fixed 30-year mortgage rates stood at 4.35 percent on average throughout the week, unchanged from the previous week. MBA says the poll covers more than 75 percent of all residential mortgage applications in the U.S.
Meanwhile, U.S. retail sales stagnated in July, indicating that consumer demand remains weak despite improvements in the country’s labor market. The data showed that Americans bought more clothing and food, but cut down on purchases in department stores and those of autos.
Minus autos, retail sales rose 0.1 percent in July from June. A Wall Street Journal survey of economists had forecasted sales to grow by 0.2 percent and gain 0.4 percent minus autos. The retail sales in July were the weakest since January, when the extreme winter weather confined shoppers to their homes in most parts of the U.S.
Sales in clothing stores rose 0.4 percent in July from the prior month, increased 0.2 percent in grocery stores and jumped 0.2 percent in food outlets and drinking establishments. Spending on automobiles and parts plunged 0.2 percent from June, while sales in furniture stores and department stores declined 0.1 percent and 0.7 percent respectively. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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