Consumer confidence data released last week show that faith in the economy has reached its lowest point in almost two years, but that hasn't dimmed mortgage lenders' optimism, especially in light of the latest Fed rate cut.

Their optimism is further supported by recent figures from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Despite bad weather and the low confidence level, loan application volume was heartening in the week ended Jan. 26, increasing 31.6% from the week before and 151.5% from the equivalent week of 1995.

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