Investors Concerned by ECB, Economic Data on Target
Overview: Over the past week, mortgage rates reached their highest levels in seven years, mainly due to comments by a European Central Bank (ECB) official. The major U.S. economic data came in close to expectations and caused little reaction.
In April, retail sales rose a healthy 0.3% from March, matching the consensus forecast. Since consumer spending accounts for about 70% of U.S. economic activity, the report on retail sales is one of the most closely watched each month. One of the most widely followed inflation reports also matched expectations. The core Consumer Price Index (CPI) for April was 2.1% higher than a year ago, which was the same annual rate of increase as last month. Single-family housing starts in April were nearly unchanged from March.
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