Mortgage Rates declined in first week of 2017, Job Hiring fell in December, ISM Service Index hit 57.2

January 05, 2017

For the first time in nine weeks, mortgage rates declined in the first week of 2017. Freddie Mac reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell to 4.20% for the week ending January 5, 2017 with 0.5 in points and fees. Freddie Mac said that this is the first time since 2014 that mortgage rates opened the year above 4%. Last year this time, the rate was 3.97%.

Private sector job hiring fell in December from November signaling that job growth is strong but is slowing. ADP reported that private payrolls rose by 153,000 in December, below the 170,000 expected and well below the 215,000 private jobs created in November. The report comes ahead of the government Jobs Report for December where it is expected that employers added 175,000 jobs total in the private and public sectors.

The service sector of the economy grew in December for the 83rd consecutive month, according to a survey out of the Institute of Supply Management (ISM). The ISM Service Index hit 57.2 last month, above the 56.6 expected and matching the 57.2 in November. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the service sector and a reading below 50 indicates contraction. A spokesperson from the ISM said that a majority of those surveyed are mostly positive about business conditions and the overall economy.