MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
Purchase loan applications fall 4 percent from previous week, down 35 percent year-on-year
The Market Composite Index for mortgage applications decreased 4.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans falling 4 percent (and down 35 percent year-on-year) and refinances falling 5 percent (and down 59 percent year-on-year). The average contract interest rate for conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 6.40 percent from 6.45 percent.
March manufacturing sector index slips further to 46.3 percent
The March Manufacturing PMI® registered 46.3 percent, 1.4 percentage points lower than the 47.7 percent recorded in February. 50.0 is the split between growth and decline. Regarding the overall economy, this figure indicates a fourth month of contraction after a 30-month period of expansion and is at its lowest level since May 2020, when it registered 43.5 percent.
March service sector index falls to 51.2 percent as growth slows
In March, the Services PMI® registered 51.2 percent, 3.9 percentage points lower than February’s reading of 55.1 percent. The composite index indicated growth in March for the third consecutive month after a reading of 49.2 percent in December, the first contraction since May 2020 (45.4 percent). There has been a pullback in the rate of growth for the services sector, attributed mainly to (1) a cooling off in the new orders growth rate, (2) an employment environment that varies by industry and (3) continued improvements in capacity and logistics, a positive impact on supplier performance.