For the week of January 15, 2024

Last Week's Mortgage Rate Recap: Rates slightly lower 👍
Mortgage rates improved a little bit last week, even though the consumer inflation numbers came in slightly higher than expected. Wholesale inflation was down, but doesn't have as much influence on mortgage rates.

This Week's Mortgage Rate Forecast: Rates may improve 👍
Mortgage rates could see some more improvement this week if markets continue to bet on Fed rate cuts to start at the March meeting. Despite labor market and economic data that points to the Fed keeping policy rates at current levels, markets believe the Fed will have to start cutting much sooner than it expects if it wants to avoid a recession. Rates are unlikely to move higher unless that belief falters.

What's affecting rates this week:
- Economic data: A holiday shortened week brings Wednesday's retail sales data and the Fed's Beige Book on the economy. Not much other data to worry about this week.
- The Fed: Mortgage rates continue to reflect the belief that the Fed will need to cut rates six times in 2024, although Fed officials have been saying it will be less. If markets start to waiver in the belief that the Fed will cut rates dramatically this year to avoid a recession, we could see mortgage rates creep higher.