Solar – in 2006 Solar energy cost 20 times the price per kilowatt hour of natural gas or coal. 15 years later, due to Federal and state subsidies that brought more companies into the market and fostered competition, solar panels are: twice as efficient, cost $150 per panel (vs. $1,000), and produce a kilowatt hour of energy for 4 cents. This is cheaper than coal or natural gas. Companies like Blackstone, Facebook, and Microsoft are all investing heavily in Solar now.
Rates – didn’t change noticeably in the week. The 10 Year US treasury is staying in its two month downward trend line. Rates are down approximately 1% from this time last year.
Loan Performance – continues to be strong. Delinquency levels remain at 20 year lows. 30 day lates did tick up from last report by 0.2% We will see if that trend continues.
Jobs – the number of people filing for unemployment for the first time remains low.
Inflation – the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is up 2.5% year-over-year, it has now been 23 months that the CPI has been up over 2% year-over-year. Rents are up 3.8% from this time last year. Out of pocket medical expenses are up 4.5% on an annual basis.