What do the latest CPI numbers mean for the mortgage market?

According to the BLS, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers in October increased 0.4%, seasonally adjusted, and rose 7.7% over the last 12 months, not seasonally adjusted. The index for all items less food and energy increased by 0.3% in October; up 6.3% over the year. The CPI increase was the same as seen in September, according to the BLS.

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The index for shelter contributed over half of the monthly all items increase, with the indices for gasoline and food also increasing. The energy index increased by 1.8% over the month as the gasoline index and the electricity index rose, but the natural gas index decreased. The food index increased 0.6% over the month with the food at home index rising 0.4%.

“There was a report that came out the other day that showed consumer credit card debt is skyrocketing,” Cohn noted. “While consumers still seem to have their wallets open much more than the Fed would like them to, we’re starting to see the chinks in the armor with things like the credit card number,” Cohn said. “Hopefully, we’ll see the Fed end their rate hike cycle by the end of the first quarter of 2023, and then bond yields will come down and rates will get better.”

And the likely impact on mortgage rates: “If I were to forecast, I would say hopefully we’ve seen mortgage rates having peaked. Even if rates just moderate – and aren’t going up half a percentage point each week or month – it will give consumers more confidence they can get pre-approved at today’s rates.”

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