Chinese Economy Slows, Shipping Peaks

The world’s second largest Economy grew only 2.5% in the first half of the year (a miss from 5.5% target). Industry along the Yangtze river has stalled as it has shrunk to half of its width. China has already decreased their central bank interest rates while many countries around the world have raised theirs to combat inflation.

Mortgage Rates – increased this week as the price of Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) degraded this week. They ended the week below their positive trendline. Rates are up approximately 2.75% from this time last year.

Homes Sales – the existing home sales report for the month of July showed sales declined nearly 6% from the previous month and are down 20% year over year. There is approximately 3.3 months supply of homes nationwide and 43% of inventory is under contract (a normal market is closer to 25%) speaking to continued demand. First time homebuyers accounted for a solid 29% of sales.

Jobs – the number of people filing for unemployment for the first time declined slightly this week but remain at anelevated level above 250,000.

Shipping – freight rates are up 28% year over year but declined 4% in July. Shipments are up 0.4% year over year and down 2% month over month. Cass Freight predicts pricing to continue to decline.

Retail Sales – were flat in July and are up 10.3% year over year

Mortgage Applications to purchase homes declined 1% from the previous week and are down 18% year over year. Refinances increased 5% last week and are down 82% year over year. Refinances make up 31% of transactions.

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