The Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee is expected to keep interest rates steady in its meeting this afternoon and not agree to cut them. The reason is the uneven economic information about how quickly inflation is slowing and even whether it still is at all.

A new report from the National Association of Realtors won't help getting to yes. They note that the decline in growth rates of rents — when shelter has been one of the biggest drivers of inflation — is slowing. Exactly the wrong direction to convince the Fed to lower interest rates.

"May 2024 marks the 10th year-over-year rent decline in a row for 0-2 bedroom properties observed since trend data began in 2020. Asking rents dipped by $13, or -0.7%, year over year," the NAR wrote. "The median asking rent in the 50 largest metros registered at $1,732, up by $10 from last month but still down $24 from its August 2022 peak. The median rent declined in all size categories with larger declines in smaller-sized units: Studio: $1,449, down $28 (-1.9%) year over year; 1-bed: $1,612, down $18 (- 1.1%) year over year; 2-bed: $1,925, down $14 (-0.7%) year over year."

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