Freddie Mac (OTC:FMCC) released today its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for April showing that recent employment and housing data may be more noise than a break in momentum due to the unseasonably warm winter.
- Despite one "noisy" month, the outlook is for the labor market this year is to remain on track with an increase in job growth over 2011 and a further acceleration in 2013.
- The first quarter of 2012 registered the best quarterly payrolls performance since the spring of 2006, despite falling short of expectations.
- Expect unemployment to decrease further from 8.2 percent in March to 8.0 percent by the fourth quarter.
- March retail sales showed that consumers continued to spend aggressively, bringing first-quarter sales 2 percent above sales in the previous quarter.
- Expect 30-year fixed-rate mortgages to gradually increase in the second half of 2012 to about 4.25 percent to 4.50 percent by the end of the year.
Freddie Mac compiles data on major economic and housing and mortgage market indicators and offers forecasts based on those indicators.
Quotes Attributed to Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac, vice president and chief economist.
- "Relatively small sample sizes during winter months and unusually mild or severe weather add 'noise' to seasonally adjusted, annual rate estimates for housing starts and permits. Since 1959, one-family starts have moved 9 percent on average between successive winter months but only 4 percent month-to-month during the summer."
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Freddie Mac was established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation's residential mortgage markets. Freddie Mac supports communities across the nation by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Over the years, Freddie Mac has made home possible for one in six homebuyers and more than five million renters.
SOURCE Freddie Mac