Industries Banking/Finance

Reports of slow economic activity push mortgage rates lower

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Mortgage rates fell for the sixth consecutive week of continued reports of a slower economy.

The average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell 0.1 percentage point to 4.6 percent this week, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey of mortgage rates. This marks a new low for 2011. A year ago this week, the average rate was 4.84 percent.

The 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage was down 0.2 percentage point this week to 3.78 percent, also a new low for 2011. A year ago, the 15-year rate was 4.21 percent.

“Fixed mortgage rates eased slightly for the sixth consecutive week amid reports of slower economic activity,” Freddie Mac’s chief economist, Frank Nothaft, said in a statement. “The index of leading indicators fell 0.3 percent in April and represented the first monthly decline since June 2010. In addition, the Federal Reserve banks reported less business and manufacturing activity in Philadelphia, Chicago and Richmond.”

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