Wednesday, 29 July 2009

US home prices rise, consumer confidence falls

Tuesday's data provided more evidence that the US housing market is stabilising. From Bloomberg:

The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index rose 0.5 percent in May from the prior month, the first gain since July 2006 and biggest since May of that year, the group said today in New York...

... Adjusted for seasonal changes, the index fell 0.2 percent in May, the smallest monthly decline since February 2007.

However, consumer confidence fell in July.

The Conference Board’s confidence index dropped to 46.6, a second consecutive decline, following a reading of 49.3 in June, the New York-based research group said. The figure reached a record low of 25.3 in February.

Nevertheless, Bloomberg reports that Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President Janet Yellen said on Tuesday that the US economy is showing signs of emerging from the recession.

“We glimpse the first solid signs since the recession started more than a year and a half ago that economic growth may be poised to resume,” Yellen said. “Indeed, I expect that to happen sometime this year,” she said, while adding that risks to the outlook remain, with the commercial property slump the biggest threat.

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