US Pending Home Sales Index up in February

| March 29, 2011
US Pending Home Sales Index up in February

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has announced its Pending Home Sales Index rose in February after two months of declines.

The surprise rise comes after a series of gloomy reports for the US housing market.

On a monthly basis, the index rose 2.1% to 90.8, confounding analysts expectations of a fall of 1%.

On an annual basis, however, sales were down 8.2% in February.

The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, comments: “Pending home sales have trended up very nicely since bottoming out last June, even with periodic monthly declines.a�?

In related news, the Commerce Department reported a rise in consumer spending in the US for the month of February a�� due, in part, to higher food and energy costs.

Spending grew 0.7% in the month after a 0.3% increase in January. Februarya��s figure represented the fastest pace for four months but this was attributed to households paying more for energy bills.

Consumer spending is closely monitored as it accounts for approximately 70% of total economic output.

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