With so many headlines using the terms impeachment and trade wars, we can often overlook the mundane release of economic data indicating to us how consumers seem to be weathering these political and international skirmishes. Thus far the economy seems to be holding up well with so many distractions going on. Yet we need to look at the data more closely to detect signs of wear and tear on the psyche of the long-term recovery we have enjoyed over the past decade.
This is why last week's employment report was watched extra closely -- even amid all of the other noisy headlines. The creation of 135,000 jobs last month was considered slightly disappointing, but this number was mitigated somewhat by an upward revision of last month's numbers. The unemployment rate came in at 3.5%, better than forecasted and the lowest in five decades. Wage inflation was lower than expectations.
All in all, this report seems to indicate that the Federal Reserve Board was justified in their recent lowering of interest rates. It also points to a decent chance of additional rate decreases this year. The report is an indication that interest rates could stay low in the short-term, which means that those who are interested in purchasing or refinancing homes should consider this opening a significant opportunity to take advantage of these low rates. The consensus of analysts before this report was that the Fed will not act again on short-term interest rates at this next meeting this month and this report will leave this question a bit more open, especially when combined with recently released weak economic data.