U.S. producer prices fell 0.2% in February on lower energy and food costs, but prices were unchanged from a year ago. This was the first time since January 2015 that the year-on-year PPI did not decline. Energy prices declined 3.4%. Gasoline prices declined 15.1%, the biggest drop in a year. (Labor Department)
Total mortgage application volume fell 3.3% this week, but 21% percent higher than last year. Refinance volume saw a 6% drop for the week. Refinance activity has been falling steadily for the past month, now dipping to its lowest level since August. The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate is 3.94%. Mortgage applications to purchase a home were basically flat, for the week, but are 33% than one year ago. Applications for adjustable rate mortgages are down 68% from a year ago. (Mortgage Bankers Association)
Oregon's unemployment rate dropped its lowest level in more than 20 years and stands at 4.8% in February. The jobless rate peaked at almost 12% in the spring of 2009. The Oregon labor force has grown by nearly 100,000 in the past two years, driven by people moving from California. Oregon worker average wage is up 4.5% in the last year to $24.40 per hour. The national average is up about 2.5%. (AP)
Oil is up 75 cents at $37.00 a barrel.
Gold is up $2 at $1233 a Troy ounce.