Moving on not-quite-horrible jobs news on Friday, September 3, when the monthly jobs report reflected a loss of 54,000 in August, mortgage rates ticked up – 5 basis points for an average 30-year fixed mortgage, to 4.58%, and 1 basis point for an average 15-year fixed to 4.06%. It seems that the bad news was actually good news, in that 114,000 jobs that went away in August belonged mainly to temporary census workers – meaning that the economy actually added 67,000 private-sector jobs. Hence the jump in rates.
As rates edged upward for mortgages, and the news from August was deemed somehow positive since it wasn’t as negative as feared, investors began to sell off Treasury securities. Since Treasury and mortgage rates affect one another, it remains to be seen whether mortgage rates will continue to trend upward or whether they will bounce up and down for a while.
One thing that’s not bouncing, however, is morale among investors dependent, or partially dependent, on interest rates for income. While those who owe are feeling some relief as they refinance – whether homeowners or businesses – retirees and others who depend on the income from savings, T-bills, and other forms of investment that rely on interest are hurting, to the point that the money on deposit in U.S. bank branches is falling.