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Markets await Beige Book with moderate optimism

A for sale sign is seen in front of a home on January 25, in Miami, Florida. Today, the Mortgage Bankers Association is reporting a surge in weekly home mortgage applications

Today's economic-release-of-note is the Federal Reserve's enticingly-named "Beige Book." We'll get our hands on it this afternoon.

The Beige Book is a summary of economic conditions across the country across various regional reserve banks which the Federal Reserve uses to set monetary policies such as interest rates. Gus Faucher with PNC Financial Services Group, expects the report to show continued modest growth, "economic growth has softened slightly from late 2011-early 2012."

Also this morning, the Mortgage Bankers Association is reporting a surge in weekly home mortgage applications. "It looks like demand for housing continues to improve," says Faucher, "affordability is incredibly high given low rates and the big price declines that we've seen, and so households with job gains and income growth are looking to purchase homes, and that is supporting economic growth."

 

About the author

Jeff Horwich is the interim host of Marketplace Morning Report and a sometime-Marketplace reporter.
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