30-Year Fixed Mortgage

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate is very important to the home-buying market because it accounts for over 80% of financing. The 30-year fixed mortgage is influenced by the 10-year treasury rate of the Federal Reserve when the 10-year treasury rates fall the 30-year mortgage rate fall as well. The 30-year fixed mortgage increased to 3.65% in March, compared to 3.49% …

Architecture Billings Index

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) is an indicator of commercial and industrial building activity. The Work-on-the-Boards survey is given to architecture firms each month to report how billing activity performed in the previous month. The ABI is a reliable tool for firms to track architectural movements in the market. Readings above 50 indicate rising levels of construction for non-residential buildings, …

Chemical Activity Barometer

The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB) is a composite index, which is comprised of indicators drawn from a range of chemicals and sectors, including chlorine, alkalis, pigments, plastic resins and other selected basic industrial chemicals. It has been shown to provide a lead of 2 to 14 months, with an average lead of 8 months at cycle peaks as determined by …

Federal Funds Rate

The Effective Federal Funds Rate is the interest rate at which banks trade federal funds with each other. This rate is determined by the Federal Open Market Committee. The Federal Funds Rate influences the interest rates at which banks and credit card companies charge customers. As of March 1st, Federal Funds were 1.6%, a decrease from last year’s rate of …

International Trade Balance

The US international trade balance is compiled by America’s Customs Agency and represents the value of all goods traded between the US and foreign nations. The balance is then calculated by subtracting total imports from total exports. A negative balance means that imports are more than exports, a positive trade balance means that exports are greater than imports. The international …

Producers Price Index

The Producer Price Index (PPI) looks at the average change in selling prices from the viewpoint of domestic producers of both goods and services. Three areas of production are observed: industry-based, commodity-based and commodity-based final demand-intermediate demand. Investors look to the producer price index, which is a more relevant way of gauging inflation than CPI because of the large basket …

What is the Coronavirus going to bring us?

The current outbreak of the Coronavirus has brought me back to a book I read last summer called Get Well Soon, History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes who Fought Them. What was fascinating about the book was not necessarily the disease, but how humanity reacted to them.  The world has lived through the nastiness of leprosy, polio, syphilis, and even …