Long-Term Mortgage RatesDive

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McLEAN, Va. - (09//3/04) -- A weakening of consumer confidencedrove long-term mortgage rates down to their lowest level in sixmonths, according to Freddie Mac. The average for the benchmark30-year, fixed-rate loan slipped to 5.77% this week, down from5.82% last week; while the average for the 15-year, fixed-ratemortgage declined to 5.15%, from 5.21%. ARM rates also fell, withthe average for the one-year ARM dipping to 3.97%, from 4.05% lastweek. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for Freddie Mac, said thecontinued decline in long-term rates was partly attributable tothis week's fall in the consumer confidence index. "The drop leftan unsavory taste in the market. Because consumer spendingcontributes about two-thirds of the economy, this could seriouslyimpact economic growth."

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