US homebuilders’ confidence touched the strongest level in seven months in August, indicating the industry is recovering after a poor showing earlier in 2014.
The National Association of Homebuilders/Wells Fargo confidence measure surged to 55 this month, compared to 53 in July. A measure above 50 indicates that a bigger number of respondents believe conditions are good for business, reported Bloomberg News.
Historically, improving employment and low mortgage rates make homes more affordable to more Americans. Stronger wage growth would be an advantage to the industry, which has been finding it hard to attract first-time home buyers who are reeling under tough credit conditions.
The index of the six-month sales outlook rose to 65, the highest level in one year, compared with 63 in July. A measure of current sales of single-family homes touched 58, the strongest level since January, from 56 the previous month. An index of prospective buyer traffic gained to 42, the highest level in 2014, from the previous figure of 39.
Builder confidence advanced in two regions, with Midwest leading the pack with a 13-point gain to 65, the most since records started in 2004. Confidence also rose in the Northeast region and fell in the West and South.
Meanwhile, Canada’s consumer sentiment surged last week on declining gasoline prices and improved personal finances. The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index advanced to 58.8 in the week through August 15, compared with 58.6 a week earlier. Prices of gasoline fell 1.9 percent last week, data compiled by Shell Canada showed.To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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