Today's Economic Data Highlights
It’s all Fedspeak today after this morning’s weekly report on mortgage applications as three regional presidents weigh in…
The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index of mortgage applications edged down 0.8% last week—its fourth consecutive decline. Applications for refinancing accounted for all of the drop, as the purchase loan index rose 2.4%. Despite the increase, which did not quite reverse the previous week’s decline, this index continues to languish at a low level.
10:15: Minneapolis Fed President Narajana Kocherlakota speaks on the economic outlook and monetary policy…in London. This is reportedly “similar to” his September 8 speech in Montana, which in turn was a rewrite of an earlier speech in Michigan. Notably, the September rewrite omitted several paragraphs arguing that maintaining the funds rate target near zero could ultimately boost the probability of deflation. Mr. Kocherlakota also made a point of saying that he would have voted with the majority at the August 10 FOMC meeting had he been on the voting rotation—this presumably in response to a Wall Street Journal article listing him as one of several meeting participants who had reservations about the decision to reinvest repayments of principal on agency debt and MBS into Treasuries. So what did he keep? The claim that mismatch between jobs and unemployed workers accounts for a significant part of the current level of unemployment; in fact, he said that this could account for more than 2½ percentage points of the unemployment rate. His first turn as a voting member of the FOMC comes in 2011.
12:30: Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser speaks…on a variety of topics, according to Bloomberg; inflation, the job market, the housing sector, the economic risks that remain, and how policymakers will begin unwinding the unusual measures taken during the crisis. Lots on the menu for lunch. Mr. Plosser’s next turn on the voting rotation of the FOMC comes in 2011.
13:15: Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren speaks….to the Forecasters Club of New York. …Mr. Rosengren is sitting in the FOMC seat that Mr. Plosser will occupy next year.
From Goldman's Ed McKelvey