Fixed-Rate Mortgages Fall to 8.67%

THE JOURNAL RECORD, February 8, 1992 | Go to article overview

Fixed-Rate Mortgages Fall to 8.67%


WASHINGTON _ The average interest rate for new 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages fell to 8.67 percent this week, the first decline in four weeks, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. said Friday. The rate was down from 8.68 percent last week and the first drop since falling from 8.24 percent to 8.23 percent in the week ending Jan. 10. That had been the lowest mortgage cost in 18 years. On one-year adjustable-rate mortgages, lenders were asking an average initial rate of 5.87 percent, down from 5.93 percent last week.

Caterpillar Calls 5,600 Back to Work PEORIA, Ill. _ Caterpillar Inc. on Friday called back to work more than 5,600 union employees it locked out three months ago and said it wants to resume negotiations with striking workers. Workers who have been locked out of the East Peoria and Aurora plants since Nov. 7 were asked to return to work Feb. 16. The world's largest heavy equipment manufacturer locked the workers out three days after United Auto Workers struck two other plants over the lack of progress on a new labor contract. About 10,000 of UAW's 16,000 workers in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Colorado have been idled by the dispute, which flared over the union's demand that Caterpillar follow the pattern set in a contract reached with John Deere. Caterpillar Vice President Wayne Zimmerman said the company has not changed its bargaining position but simply wants to show good faith and start talking again. The company also asked the union Friday to return to the bargaining table sometime the week of Feb. 17, saying it would make a new contract offer at that time.

Fed Awaits More Evidence of Weakening WASHINGTON _ The Federal Reserve wants further evidence that the economy continues to weaken before lowering interest rates again, analysts said Friday. Many economists believed the Fed would act on Friday after the Labor Department reported that 91,000 more jobs were lost in January and the unemployment rate remained at 7.1 percent for a second month. But the central bank instead drained dollar reserves from the banking system which would keep rates from falling. Economist Elliott Platt of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp. in New York said that was "a signal that the Fed is not easing for the moment. …

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