GDP, which is a measurement used to gauge the state of the economy, beat expectations. It rose 4.9% in the third quarter compared to estimates of 4.7%. This was led by consumer spending, better inventories, exports, housing investments, and government spending. This news alleviates some recession fears, but inflation is still going to be sticky, as consumers and the government continue to spend.
40 million Americans saw their student loan repayments resume in October. This will be important to track, as we learn how this will impact spending and the economy. Those who are also taking out new loans are going to see historically high interest rates due to the Feds hawkish raising of interest rates, as they continue to battle inflation. The good news is households are much better off financially compared to 2008.
Treasury yields climbed to 16-year highs in October, reaching 5% on the 10-year Treasury. Fed Chairman Powell indicated that inflation is still a problem. They will meet two more times this year to discuss more rate increases. Also, in October, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage crossed 8%. We have seen an up-tick in home buyers taking out mortgages with a floating or variable interest rate, as they hope rates will fall.
GM, Ford, and Stellantis have all reached agreements with the United Auto Worker union. The domestic auto industry had been rattled by the strikes, shutting down many of their assembly lines costing them billions of dollars. The agreement is a 4 ½ year contract that gives workers a raise in compensation by as much as 25%, better benefits with cost-of-living adjustments, and a reduction in the number of years to reach higher earnings. It is still unclear if this agreement will put them back on track with the plans to build new factories or completely overhaul existing factories with the push to electric vehicle adoption.