The U.S. economy grew at a 2.6% annual rate from July through September, snapping two straight quarters of contraction and overcoming high inflation and interest rates just as voting begins in midterm elections in which the economy’s health has emerged as a paramount issue. Meanwhile, the average long-term U.S. mortgage rate topped 7% for the first time in more than two decades this week, a result of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive rate hikes intended to tame inflation not seen in some 40 years. The last time the average rate was above 7% was April 2002, a time when the U.S. was still reeling from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but six years away from the 2008 housing market collapse that triggered the Great Recession. Last year at this time, rates on a 30-year mortgage averaged 3.14%. Here to explain the latest on the economy are Richard Green, Director and Chair of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate and Chris Thornberg, director of the UC Riverside Center for Economic Forecasting and Development
With files from the Associated Press
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