WASHINGTON (10/28/13)--The final October measure of a consumer sentiment index fell to a 10 month-low in the wake of the government shutdown in Washington.
The last reading of the University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters consumer-sentiment index this month was 73.5, according to data released Friday--down from a final September reading of 77.5.
A report issued by the two research institution on their findings concluded that consumers increasingly view the government as an impediment to economic growth. In response to an open-ended question about recent economic developments, the number of those polled who negatively mentioned the federal government in October was the highest that it has been in the more than five decade history of the survey.
The deconstructed index showed that the measure of consumer expectations fell to 62.5 in October, down from 67.8 in September, while the gauge of current-conditions dropped to 89.9 from 92.6.
Economists polled by MarketWatch expected the final October index to be 74.8 (MarketWatch, Oct. 25).
WASHINGTON (10/28/13)--Federal Housing Finance Agency acting director Edward DeMarco said Thursday that federal regulators aren't planning on imminently lowering the value of loans that government-sponsored enterprises are permitted to purchase, but said that might change in the future (American Banker, Oct. 24).
Speaking at a housing finance reform event hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center and real estate presence Zillow, DeMarco made the remarks in a talk laying out what the agency has done and what it plans to do in the wake of the subprime mortgage crisis.
He said that the agency will announce 2014 conforming loan limits in late November, and that future information will be provided then.
DeMarco also said that the agency will give at least six months' notice before lowering the statutory maximum, and said that it won't act until at least next spring.
The FHFA has been the target of a mortgage industry lobbying campaign after rumors emerged that it was planning on lowering loan limits on mortgages purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
He said that any rule change would be "measured" to minimize market shocks.
The current loan limit for GSEs is $417,000 nationwide and $625,500 in areas with a higher cost of living.
DeMarco said Thursday morning that the FHFA decided against lowering the limits early next year because a rash of new regulations, including the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau's qualified mortgage rule, are set to impact the industry, and that additional impact analyses must be done by the agency.