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Mortgage Applications Dipped 4.7% Last Week

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WASHINGTON (8/15/13)--U.S. mortgage applications dipped 4.7%, seasonally adjusted, for the week ended Aug. 9 from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

The Market Composite Index is a measure of mortgage loan application volume. On an unadjusted basis, the index dropped 5%. The Refinance Index fell 4%. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 5%, while the unadjusted Purchase Index fell 6% and was 4% higher than the same week one year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity remained unchanged at 63%. Adjustable-rate activity increased to 6% of total applications. The government share of purchase applications was 29%--well below the long-term series average of 38%. The Home Affordable Refinance Program share of refinance applications dipped to 35% from 36% the week prior.

To read the MBA report, use the link.

Producer Prices Indicate Little Inflationary Pressure

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WASHINGTON (8/15/13)--U.S. producer (wholesale) prices remained flat in July, indicating  minimal inflationary pressure and reflecting the largest decline in auto costs in four years (The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.com Aug. 14).
 
The producer-price index--which shows what companies pay for the full range of products from produce to heavy machinery--was unchanged last month after increasing 0.8% in June, the Labor Department said Wednesday. Core prices--which exclude volatile food and energy costs--climbed 0.1% in July after increasing 0.2% in June.
 
While slower growth abroad holds back demand, the lower prices of raw materials are reflected on cost pressures at the production stage for goods, Bloomberg said.
 
Although inflation will slowly gather steam, it will remain relatively low, Scott Brown, chief economist for Raymond James & Associates Inc. in St. Petersburg, Fla., told Bloomberg. There still is substantial slack in the economy, he noted.