Daily News 5/22/2015

May 22, 2015

Friday – May 22

The Labor Department reported on Friday that core consumer inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy, rose by the largest percentage since January 2013. The Core Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.3% in April from March and above the 0.2% expected. The headline CPI actually fell to 0.1% from the 0.2% gain in March. The CPI is a closely watched gauge of the U.S. Federal Reserve, which is an important component in its decision to gauge monetary policy. CPI is an inflationary indicator that measures the change in the cost of a fixed basket of products and services, including housing, electricity, food and transportation.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) have revised their figures higher for mortgage originations in 2015. The revised figures come on the heels of an improving economy and job market, along with some upward pressure on wages. The MBA reports that there should be a total of $1.28 trillion in mortgage originations for 2015, compared to $1.12 trillion in 2014. In addition, refinances are expected to be $551 billion in 2015, compared to a previously estimated $510 billion. Purchase originations are expected to increase to $730 billion in 2015 from $638 billion in 2014. Also helping to boost mortgage applications is that home loan rates continue to remain near historically low levels.

Motor club AAA projects that 33 million Americans will be driving to their destinations this Memorial Day weekend between Thursday, May 21 to Monday, May 25. That’s a lot of cars on the road, but the good news is that the national average price for a regular gallon of gasoline is $2.66, down from the $3.66 we saw for the same period last year. The 33 million drivers on the road is up 5.3% from 2014. AAA said it expected to rescue 350,000 drivers at the roadside this weekend, due to dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts. So be sure to check your tires, battery and remember your keys.