Fannie Mae expects growth to slow in second half of year

Economic growth is expected remain at 2% for 2017 amid a projected second half slowdown, according to a new report by Fannie Mae.

The Fannie Mae Economic & Strategic Research Group’s July 2017 Economic and Housing Outlook found incoming data suggests second quarter economic growth will rebound to 2.7%, up from 1.4% in the first quarter. However, second half growth is expected to slow slightly to 1.9%.

“While second quarter growth is poised to rebound, we expect growth to moderate through the remainder of 2017,” Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan said in a news release. “Consumer spending, traditionally the largest contributor to economic growth, is sluggish and is lagging positive consumer sentiment and solid hiring. While labor market slack continues to diminish, wage growth is not accelerating and inflation has moved further below the Fed’s target.

“Construction activity has lost some steam following the first quarter’s weather-driven boost,” he continued. “Meanwhile, very lean inventory continues to act as a boon for home prices and a bane for affordability, particularly among potential first-time homeowners.”

To read the full report, click here.

CFPB releases Spring 2017 rulemaking agenda

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on July 20 released its Spring 2017 rulemaking agenda.

Federal regulatory agencies must publish regulatory agendas twice a year. The Unified Agenda includes rulemaking actions in pre-rule, proposed rule, final rule, long-term, and completed stages.

Issues addressed in the rulemaking agenda include mortgage rules, fair lending, payday lending, debt collection, overdraft programs on checking accounts, prepaid products and other initiatives.

To learn more about the agenda, click here.

CFPB proposes changes to HMDA reporting requirements

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on July 14 announced proposed changes to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act reporting requirements for community banks and credit unions that issue home-equity lines of credit.

Financial institutions are generally required under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act to report home-equity lines of credit if they made 100 such loans in each of the last two years. The new proposed rule would increase that threshold to 500 loans through calendar years 2018 and 2019 so the bureau can consider whether to make a permanent adjustment. The CFPB estimates the temporary 500-loan threshold would still capture about three-quarters of the home-equity lending market, down from about 88% at the 100-loan threshold.

Comments on the proposal will be accepted through July 31.

To learn more about the proposed changes, click here.

FHFA rule amends diversity regulations

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has published a final rule amending its existing Minority and Women Inclusion regulations.

The new rule will require Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Federal Home Loan Banks, and the FHLB’s Office of Finance to develop and implement strategic plans to promote diversity and inclusion of minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and the businesses they own.

The final rule further clarifies the scope of the regulated entities’ obligation to promote diversity and inclusion. It also requires the regulated entities to amend their policies on equal employment opportunity to add sexual orientation, gender identity, and status as a parent to the list of protected classes.

The final rule adopts, with minor revisions, the notice of proposed rulemaking the FHFA issued on Oct. 27, 2016. The rule becomes effective on Aug. 24.

To read the final rule, click here.

FTC chairman lists six-month accomplishments for 2017

Federal Trade Commission Acting Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen on July 25 released a summary of the agency’s major accomplishments for the first half of 2017.

Ohlhausen cited among the major achievements the establishment of an FTC Economic Liberty Task Force focusing on occupational licensing reform; regulatory reform and agency streamlining; the launch of a new small business website with information to help small business owners protect against scams and cyber threats; an initiative designed to protect consumer online privacy; and consumer enforcement actions among other initiatives.

To learn more, click here.

CFPB finalizes updates to TRID rule

On July 7, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced a final rule updating its “Know Before You Owe” mortgage disclosure rule (also known as the TRID rule) with amendments intended to formalize guidance on the rule, and provide greater clarity and certainty. The CFPB also is releasing a limited follow-up proposal to address an additional implementation issue.

The final rule will be effective 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. However, the mandatory compliance date is Oct. 1, 2018.

To read more about the final rule, click here.

About the author

John Roszkowski

Finance Editor John Roszkowski develops and edits content for OnCourse Learning’s financial services blog, which covers industry news and trends in mortgage, banking, compliance, credit unions, gaming and nonbank financial services. He has more than 25 years of writing and editing experience, having previously worked for weekly and daily newspapers.

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