Consumer prices rose moderately in January, and underlying inflation remained benign. The pandemic continues to be a drag on the labor market and services industry.

Despite a reported unemployment rate that has fallen to 6.3%, Fed chair Jerome Powell said the rate is actually closer to 10% and is “a long way” from where it needs to be.

Jobless claims continue to decrease weekly, with 793k new applications last week. That is well below the record 6.867 million applications last March when the pandemic hit.



Consumers were more positive about home selling conditions in January. The measure jumped 16 percentage points month over month in a recent FNMA survey.

More than 33% of homes are now considered "equity rich," according to a recent ATTOM survey. Equity rich is defined as owing less than 50% of the home's value in loans.

Although overall mortgage applications fell slightly last week, purchase applications were down only about 5% from the previous week and were up 17% over last year.