Federal Reserve : New Economic Stimulus May Be Warranted

The Federal Reserve released its October Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes last week, revealing a Fed in disagreement about the future of the U.S. economy and about what, if any, economic stimulus may be warranted in the next 12 months.

Can someone say, ANOTHER economic stimulus?

The “Fed Minutes” recaps the conversations and debates that transpire during an FOMC meeting, and is published 3 weeks after the meeting adjourns.

According to the October minutes, FOMC members “generally agreed” that a housing recovery is under way nationwide (including Florida) citing increased housing prices, higher sales volume, and rising construction in many parts of the country.

FOMC members made no major policy changes at their last meeting, but agreed that a continuation of additional asset purchases would likely be necessary in 2013, in order to achieve a substantial improvement in the labor market.

Some other notable highlights from within the Fed Minutes:

  • On housing: Signs of improvement are “encouraging”, and mortgage rates are at historic lows
  • On inflation: Essentially “unchanged”, notwithstanding recent increases in energy prices
  • On Europe: Production indicators signal contraction in business activity and expansion
  • On employment: Employment is rising, and unemployment remains high

The economic forecast prepared by the FOMC staff shows an uptick in consumer spending, residential construction, and labor market conditions which more than offset recent downgrades in the business fixed investment and the industrial production outlooks.

Through 2013, economic activity is projected to accelerate gradually, supported by a lessening in fiscal policy restraints. The Fed also anticipates that Orlando home buyers will benefit from looser credit standards.

Low Florida mortgage rates are helping home buyers, too.

According to Freddie Mac, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate was 3.34% last week, down from 3.55% in September. This has given a boost to buyer purchasing power nationwide and the year-end housing market may reflect it. Demand for homes remains strong.

The next FOMC meeting is scheduled for December 11-12, 2012.

The bottom line: While everything looks decent for the mortgage markets at the moment, it could very well turn at the drop of a hat.  Overreaction to overseas economics, regulatory changes and many other outside forces could all have a tremendous impact on interest rates in the future.  Combining these risk factors with the fact that rates are at or near historic lows… and taking into consideration that home prices are on the rise; it would be very wise to pursue that dream of buying a Florida home ASAP before this ship sets sail.

About the Author

Jason Gonzalez

Jason is a lifelong student of the mortgage industry that prides himself on his innovative ability to consistently find the best deals for his clients. With well over a decade of industry knowledge and experience, you can trust that he will help guide you in the right direction for your home financing needs. What separates Jason from everyone else is the fact that he cares so much about the people he helps, driving him to go above and beyond to make the dream of homeownership possible for all.

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