US consumer confidence fell in May. Bloomberg reports:
Confidence among American consumers fell in May to the lowest level since 1992 as the two-year housing slump showed no sign of bottoming.
The Conference Board's confidence index declined more than forecast to 57.2, the New York-based research group said today. The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index dropped 14.4 percent in March from a year earlier, the most since the figures were first published in 2001. Separate figures from the Commerce Department showed sales of new homes were the second-lowest since 1991 in April.
Actually, there were some positive data on home sales.
Sales of new homes increased 3.3 percent in April after readings for the prior month were revised lower, the Commerce Department's report showed. The April sales pace was an annual 526,000 homes, compared with a 509,000 rate in March that was the lowest in 17 years.
Economists forecast new home sales would drop to a 520,000 annual pace from an originally reported 526,000 rate the month earlier, according to the median estimate.
One bright spot is that inventories decreased. The supply of homes at the current sales rate dropped to 10.6 months' worth from 11.1 months in March. The number of homes completed and waiting to be sold decreased to 181,000, the fewest since July.
Calculated Risk thinks that with "existing home inventory at record levels, prices will probably continue to decline over the next few years - perhaps another 20% in real terms on a national basis".
Economists generally seem to agree.