Mortgage rates worsened this week alongside continued signs of improvement in the U.S. Economy and turmoil in Europe over the potential of Greece defaulting on their debt, pulling investors in opposite directions.
Several economic indicators showed an improving U.S. Economy this week led by the housing market with both Existing Home Sales and New Home Sales beating expectations. The final revision for 1st quarter GDP was also released this week and showed better than expected consumer spending putting pressure on bond prices as investors become more likely to take on risk in an improving economy. The other side of the equation that has helped support bond prices this week has been the continued Greek debt crisis and the possibility that they may have to leave the Euro. While the possibility of a Greek default has provided some support for bonds, most investors seem to shrug off the chances of a default, focusing more on broad economic improvements as rates continue to rise.
Economic Indicators that met or beat expectations this week included Existing Home Sales at 5.35M versus a 5.25M survey estimate, New Home Sales at 546K versus a 523K survey estimate, Q1 GDP revision at -0.2% as expected, Personal Consumption at 2.1% versus a 1.9% survey estimate, Personal Income/Spending at +0.5%/+0.9% versus a +0.5%/+0.7% estimate, and Initial Jobless Claims at 271K versus a 273K estimate. Economic Indicators that missed expectations included Durable Goods Orders at -1.8% versus a -1.0% estimate and the FHFA Housing Price Index at +0.3% versus a +0.5% estimate.
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