What’s on the financial calendar for the week of 1/29 – 2/2?

Couple admiring a new house | mortgage rate news

What’s scheduled for this week?

The following events, announcements, and reports are on the financial calendar for this week and may impact the mortgage rate market.

Monday, January 29th

None scheduled

Tuesday, January 30th

S&P Case-Shiller home price index – November 2023
Job Openings – December 2023
Consumer confidence – January 2024

Wednesday, January 31st

ADP employment – January 2023
Employment cost index – Q4 2023
Chicago Business Barometer (PMI) – January 2023
Federal Reserve interest-rate decision

Thursday, February 1st

Initial jobless claims – Week of January 27th
U.S. productivity – Q4 2023
S&P U.S. manufacturing PMI (final) – January 2024
ISM manufacturing – January 2024

Friday, February 2nd

U.S. nonfarm payrolls – January 2024
U.S. unemployment rate – January 2024
U.S. hourly wages – January 2024 & year-over-year
Factory orders – December 2023
Consumer sentiment (final) – January 2024

What to watch for in this week’s Fed Meeting?

It’s been over six weeks since we last heard from the Federal Reserve, and we’ve had multiple reports and additional data on the economy since they last spoke. Mortgage News Daily takes a look at the current economic indicators and breaks down what the Fed could do this week.

This week’s Fed Meeting could very well set the tone for the year and give the market greater understanding into how the governors are planning to adjust interest rates.

The market experts and Fed watchers aren’t expecting a rate cut or a rate hike this week. It’s expected that the Fed will hold rates where they are and provide guidance as to how they’re viewing the current economic outlook.

Inflation is close to the Fed’s 2% target, but some areas of the economy, like housing, continue to be stickier than expected. The Fed also may be concerned by the continued strength in the job market.

The bottom line is that we’ll likely get guidance, the potential for a tone shift, and not much else from this week’s meeting.

Is the housing market back to normal?

Based on recent data, the team at Realtor.com believes that the housing market is starting to return to normal after a year and a half of a challenging market.

Economic data manager Sabrina Speianu recently wrote, “This past week, the housing market showed the early signs of a return to normal, with slowing median listing price growth, a growing inventory of homes for sale, and mortgage rates which have fallen more than a percentage point from their recent peak.”

Speianu was also optimistic on mortgage rates. Given that inflation has ticked closer to the Fed’s goal of 2% and the potential for interest rate cuts in the upcoming fiscal year, Speianu stated, “Looking forward, recent employment and inflation data came in relatively strong, suggesting that the Fed will likely opt to hold the policy rate steady in their upcoming meeting. Continued progress toward the 2% inflation rate target is expected, and this will eventually improve housing market conditions in 2024.”

The market will need to see movement on home prices and affordability, but we could very well be moving toward a looser housing market with more options available this year. Only time will tell how the market shakes out this Spring.

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