The Markets in a Minute
The govenment shutdown, now the longest in U.S. history, hasn't slowed down the economy. It is expected to, however, the longer it continues. Economic data has been affected though, with delays on many reports due to closed agencies. This is causing concern for investors and impacting trading. Despite tightening labor markets and the wage pressure that can result, inflation has remained below the Fed's 2% target. This bodes well for interst rates.
Homebuilder sentiment improved in January after dropping for the last two months. Lower mortgage rates and higher sales expectations have helped. Reports on monthly housing starts and builder permits weren't released this week due to the shutdown. Estimates indicate a 3% gain over December 2017. A Fed study shows student loan debt plays a significant role in keeping many in the 24 to 32 age group from buying a home.
Thanks to Joe Amato with Waterstone Mortgage for the update.