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The average rate on the popular 30-year fixed mortgage moved decidedly higher, hitting 3.25%, which is the highest rate since mid-April.  The move was a reaction to comments made Wednesday by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell following the central bank’s meeting this week. Fed officials indicated that rate hikes could come in 2023, although they didn’t mention when they would start scaling back their massive bond-buying program.

 

U.S. initial jobless claims rose 37,000 to 412,000 which is the highest level in a month.  The number of people already collecting state jobless benefits, meanwhile, rose slightly to a seasonally adjusted 3.52 million. These are known as continuing claims. This is also the lowest level since the onset of the pandemic early last year.

 

A gauge of future U.S. economic activity increased for the third consecutive month in May, suggesting the economy continues to recover from the recession caused by the pandemic.  The Conference Board said its index of leading economic indicators (LEI) rose 1.3% last month to 114.5, topping its previous peak reached in January 2020. 
 

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