According to Freddie Mac;
” The new year has begun with mixed signals on the direction of the economy and mortgage market,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. ” On the downside, the Institute for Supply Management’s index of manufacturing activity showed significant contraction in this sector, perhaps a harbinger of a more substantial economic slowdown to begin this year. On the upside, the Conference Board reported that consumer confidence rose in December for the first time in five months, with more positive expectations for the next six months. Furthermore, interest rates have moved lower with average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates down about a tenth of a percentage point, the lowest in four weeks.