December 18, 2006
-- by Dave Johnson
U.S. home builders were a bit more pessimistic about the housing market in December, but they're growing more hopeful that home sales could perk up in six months, the National Association of Home Builders reported Monday.It has been affecting Home Depot: Weathering The Housing Storm,
... Economists had expected the index, which measures builder sentiment, to improve to 34 in December, according to a poll conducted by MarketWatch.
A reading of 50 shows that half the builders surveyed think the market is good and half think it's poor.
The index had fallen to a decade-low of 30 in September, the sharpest decline in the index's 20-year history. The index stood at 57 a year ago and peaked at 72 in June 2005.
The recent slowdown in the housing market shouldn't scare off investors in Home Depot.Opportunities in China?
...While the tough environment is projected to slow Home Depot's sales growth to 2.8% this year, following a five-year run that saw the company average 11% growth, Trott points to a growing supply business and promising opportunities in China as big reasons for optimism.
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