Weekly Economic Report 03.25.19

KEY MARKET INDICATORS as of Mar 25, 2019

Fed Policy, Existing Home Sales

Fed Halts Rate Hikes: The Federal Reserve kept the policy rate unchanged at a range between 2.25 and 2.5% this week, and indicated that the rate will likely not change “for some time.” Concerns about the slowing U.S. economy and volatility in financial markets forced the Fed to halt rate hikes. For the past three months, economists polled by the Wall Street Journal have said that there is a 25% probability that the U.S. economy will enter a recession in the next 12 months, the highest level since the 2011-12 period.

Existing Home Sales: In the existing homes market, sales rebounded sharply in February to 5.51 million units seasonally adjusted annual rate, the highest level in 11 months. This is good news for the housing market, showing that buyers are ready to buy at the lower interest rates. On the other hand, home sales in the first two months remained almost 6% below the same time last year even after the February rebound, so lower interest rates have helped stabilize the market, but home sales remain slow compared to last year’s pace. The decision by the Federal Reserve to halt rate hikes should help sustain the rebound in home sales for the remainder of 2019.

Tian Liu, Genworth Mortgage Insurance Chief Economist
919 807.9584

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Disclaimer: Opinions, estimates and projections in this report constitute the current judgment of the author as of the date of this report. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Genworth Mortgage Insurance and are subject to change without notice. Genworth Mortgage Insurance has no obligation to provide revised assessments and assumes no duty to update information in the event of changed circumstances. While we have gathered this information from sources believed to be reliable, Genworth Mortgage Insurance cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided. Certain data discussed in this report is publicly available only on a time delayed basis. Genworth Mortgage Insurance strives to analyze data as it becomes available, but makes no representation that all data is reviewed immediately upon release. 

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