Wed May 15, 2019, 10:57 AM

Home Builder Confidence Hits a 7-Month High in May as Housing Market Headwinds Ease

Published: May 15, 2019 10:00 a.m. ET

The 2019 average so far: 62, down from 67 in 2018


Bloomberg News/Landov

The numbers: The National Association of Home Builders’ monthly confidence index jumped three points to 66 in May, the trade group said Wednesday. That was the highest reading since October.

The May increase beat the Econoday consensus for a one-point rise.

Any reading over 50 signals improvement.

What happened: Builder confidence slid throughout 2018 as conditions in the housing market darkened, but it's perked up over the past few months.

In May, the index sub-gauge that tracks current sales conditions jumped three points to 72, the component that measures expectations over the next six months ticked one point higher to 72, and the index of buyer traffic rose two points to 49.

Big picture: Economists use the NAHB’s index as a gauge of likely home building industry activity. If builders are more confident in market conditions, they’re more likely to break ground on more houses, leading to more jobs and overall economic activity.


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