February 12th, 2010 4:50 PM by Mel Samick
The Commerce Department reported early this morning that retail level sales rose 0.5% last month. This matched forecasts for the most part, meaning consumers spent no more than was thought. That is relatively good news for the bond market and mortgage rates because consumer spending fuels economic growth. Today's report did revise December's sales 0.2% better than previously thought, but it appears that news has not influenced trading or mortgage pricing.February's preliminary reading to the University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment revealed a reading of 73.7. This was a decline from January's reading and lower than forecasts were calling for. This means that consumers are less optimistic about their own financial situations this month than many had thought. That is considered good news for the bond market and mortgage rates because waning consumer confidence usually translates into weaker levels of consumer spending.Yesterday's 30-year Bond sale also was met with a lackluster interest from investors. This was no surprise and neither was the minimal reaction to the results once they were posted yesterday afternoon. Mortgage rates were not affected by the results of the sale yesterday.Next week has several relevant economic reports scheduled, including two key inflation readings. Others include a couple of housing reports and a measurement of industrial output.