Wage bargaining has been a grassroots approach – organization by employees negotiating against their employers. California passed a law last week that flips the dynamic. The Fast Recovery Act applies specifically to the fast food sector and calls for the creation of a fast-food council. This council will feature representatives from companies and workers. Together they will set wage and working standards for hundreds of employers and half a million union and non-union workers. In France 95% of their workforce is protected by sectoral bargaining.

Mortgage Rates increased again this week marking 7 consecutive weeks of increase. The price of Mortgaged Backed Securities responded negatively to inflation reports. Rates are up 3.125% from this time last year.

Inflation – the Consumer Price Index Report (CPI) showed that overall inflation increased by 0.1%. Year over year inflation declined from 8.5% to 8.3%. The Core rate, which strips out food and energy, increased by 0.6%. Core inflation is up from 5.9% to 6.3%. The Producer Price Index, which measures wholesale inflation, declined 1% in August and is down from 9.8% to 8.7% year over year. The Core rate rose 0.4% and is up 7.3% year over year (down slightly from last months report of 7.6%).

Loan Performance – in June of 2022 2.9% of mortgages were delinquent by at least 30 days. This is up from 2.7% from the previous month but down from 4.4% year over year. Regardless, less than 3% is a strong number and the number of homes in foreclosure remains at 0.3% – near a multi-decade low.

Mortgage Applications to purchase homes were flat week over week and are down 29% year over year. Refinances declined by 4.2% last week and remain down 83% year over year.

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