US long-term mortgage rates inch up

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WASHINGTON (AP) — US long-term mortgage rates rose this week amid optimism over prospects for the US economy. Rates remain at historically low levels.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage jumped to 3.75 percent from 3.69 percent last week. By contrast, the benchmark rate stood at 4.94 percent a year ago.

The average rate on a 15-year mortgage increased to 3.2 percent this week from 3.13 percent last week.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told Congress this week that the central bank remains optimistic about the US economy, though it still faces risks from slower growth overseas and trade tensions.