Home resales in the U.S. probably rose in June and a gauge of the economic outlook improved, signaling the recession may soon be over, economists said before reports this week.
Purchases of previously owned homes climbed to an annual rate of 4.83 million, the highest level since October, according to the median of 57 estimates in a Bloomberg survey before the National Association of Realtors’ report on July 23. Figures tomorrow may show the index of leading indicators climbed for a third consecutive month.
Mounting evidence that housing is stabilizing is bolstering forecasts that government stimulus efforts will gain traction in coming months and lift the economy from the worst slump in five decades. Other reports may show rising joblessness is weighing on Americans’ moods, tempering optimism about any rebound.
“The end of the recession could be pretty close,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James & Associates Inc. in St. Petersburg, Florida. “We’re getting near the bottom in housing. It’ll still be a very gradual recovery for the economy, with a labor market that’s very weak.”
Reports last week corroborated that the housing slump, now in its fourth year, is dissipating. Housing starts unexpectedly jumped in June to the highest level since November as construction of single-family dwellings climbed by the most since 2004. Building permits, indicating future construction, rose the most in a year.
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