Nearly 2 dozen cities across the US and more across the world are running Universal Basic Income (UBI) experiments. It will be interesting to see the continued data from these projects and how the results will influence government policy

Rates – increased slightly this week following the Bureau of Labor and Statistics release of their April Consumer Price Index. Rates are down roughly 1/4% from this time last year.

Inflation – both the Consumer Price Index and the Producer Price Index showed large month over month and year over year gains. The CPI (bigger market mover) was up 4.2% year over year, the largest increase in 13 years. The PPI was up 6.2% – steel is up 18%, furnishings & flooring are up 3%, and Household appliances rose 0.6%. Rents are up 2% nationwide. Worth noting that although the CPI index increased dramatically and caused a stir in the market inflation was isolated to certain items:

-Airfare +10%
-Sporting Events +10%
-Used Cars +10%
-Hotels +9%
-CPUs +5%

These items represent 7% of the US economy. The remaining 93% of the economy was only up 0.3% Retail sales jumped 10% in March with stimulus. Retail sales were flat in April.

Delinquencies in a recent CoreLogic survey 8 in 10 respondents indicated they were unlikely to fall behind on their mortgage payments. While 30 day delinquency did increase a tick overall delinquency rates remain fairly low and foreclosure rates are still at 0.3% (remember that only 2/3 of homes are mortgaged).

Mortgage Application volume increased by 2.1% week over week. Purchases are up 13% from this time last year while refinances are down 12%.

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