Despite rumblings that the Federal Open Market Committee would increase interest rates at its monetary policy meeting on Wednesday, the committee instead reaffirmed its current rates, stating that the zero to one quarter percent rate would remain in place. According to the FOMC’s statement, this decision was made to support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability and largely factored in energy prices, household spending and incomes, unemployment rates, inflation and other economic influencers.
Despite opting to continue with its current interest rates, the FOMC’s statement did recognize that increases in the future are possible. When those increases may come, however, are up in the air. The committee's statement said that "the committee currently anticipates that, even after employment and inflation are near mandate-consistent levels, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the committee views as normal in the longer run."
Pending home sales rose for the third straight month in March, and according to the National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index, they’re at their highest point since June 2013. The index, an indicator of sales based on contract signings, was released this morning. It showed a 1.1 percent increase in pending sales for March and an 11.1 percent increase over the same time last year. This marks the third month in a row the sales have risen and the seventh year that pending sales numbers have improved.