In the midst of a swirl of negative GSE-related news last week, Freddie Mac added to the commotion by reporting a decrease in its retained portfolio. However, the GSE's total mortgage portfolio showed some signs of growth.

Freddie's retained portfolio shrank 11.1% in January after a 6% decline in the last two months. Retained portfolio purchases also dropped to $14.5 billion in January from $18 billion in December. Meanwhile, its retained portfolio purchase agreements - considered an indicator of the pace of the Freddie's portfolio growth in the near term - were net $12.2 billion in January, decreasing from $17.1 billion in December.

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