But rate hikes could still be delayed depending on market activity
You may have heard, the Federal Reserve held a meeting this week. Dropping a single word out of their language, "patient," was enough to indicate their timeline for starting an increase on short-term interest rates.
With unemployment rates falling steadily, currently at about 5.5 percent nationwide, Fed officials again lowered the range of when they believe unemployment will be low enough to allow inflation to occur. They now say the target range is between 5 and 5.2 percent.
Embracing recent positive economic reports, Fed officials are no longer saying they will be "patient" when it comes time to start raising rates for the first time in nearly 10 years. The earliest this rate hike could come is in just a couple months, June 2015.
Oil prices rise, U.S. dollar slightly drops
Crude oil prices rose about 2 percent on the week to $45.72 per barrel, which boosted stocks while the U.S. dollar weakened slightly. A stronger U.S. dollar means that American goods are more expensive abroad and consequently, fewer products sell.
Fed chief Janet Yellen will continue to see which direction markets go and any movement in job creation/unemployment rates before determining when the timing is right to move interest rates upward. In the meantime, rates remain at very attractive levels for homeowners and home buyers.