MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
Consumer Price Index rose 0.3 percent in April and 8.3 percent year-on-year
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.3 percent in April on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 1.2 percent in March, and rose 8.3 percent year-on-year. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.6 percent in April following a 0.3-percent advance in March, and rose 6.2 percent year-on-year. The index for airline fares rose 33.3 percent over the last year, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending December 1980.
April Small Business Optimism Index unchanged, fourth consecutive month below 48-year average
The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index was unchanged in April, remaining at 93.2 and the fourth consecutive month below the 48-year average of 98. Small business owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months decreased one point to a net negative 50%, the lowest level recorded in the 48-year-old survey. Inflation continues to be a problem for small businesses with 32% of small business owners reporting it’s their single most important problem in operating their business, the highest reading since the fourth quarter of 1980. Forty-seven percent of owners reported job openings that could not be filled, unchanged from March.
Purchase loan apps up 5 percent from previous week but down 8 percent year-on-year
The Market Composite Index for mortgage applications increased 2.0 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans rising 5 percent (but down 8 percent year-on-year) and refinance activity falling 2 percent (and down 72 percent year-on-year). The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 5.53 percent from 5.36 percent. The share of ARMs increased to 11 percent of overall loans and to 19 percent by dollar volume.