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Mar 5, 2021

Some of those huge Texas electricity bills were a mistake?

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An independent monitor says there are billions of dollars in overcharges on Texas electricity bills as a result of the deadly outages in February. Plus, signs of energy in hiring for the U.S. economy. And, concerns about inflation and higher borrowing costs for mortgages and loans, and how those will really affect consumer spending.

Segments From this episode

379,000 more people were on the payrolls in February, indicating a stronger-than-expected job market

"It's not just that we almost added 400,000 jobs. It's that we managed to add that many jobs despite the great freeze," said Christopher Low, chief economist at FHN Financial, "which caused construction employment to fall, manufacturing employment gains were probably smaller than they would have been. In fact, even state and local government employment was down because teachers couldn't come in to work in parts of the South." Good jobs numbers can fuel inflation and bond market concerns, as Treasury yields have continued to rise. But also fueling concerns, Low said, is the fact that Fed Chair Jerome Powell did not say the central bank would stop yields from rising, just that it would monitor and take action on "disorderly" market conditions.

Will borrowing get more expensive for consumers as the economy recovers?

Mar 5, 2021
Interest rates on 30-year mortgages have started climbing.
This week, Freddie Mac said the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage climbed above 3% for the first time since July.
phototechno via Getty Images

Music from the episode

The team

Nicole Childers Executive Producer
Victoria Craig Producer, BBC
Stephen Ryan Producer, BBC
Jonathan Frewin Producer, BBC
Daniel Shin Producer
Jay Siebold Engineer
Brian Allison Engineer
Alex Schroeder Digital producer
Meredith Garretson Producer
Erika Soderstrom Producer/Director