New home sales fell 7.6 percent in December, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Wednesday. This was the second straight month that new home sales declined. The Commerce Department also reported that new home sales in 2009 were down 22.9 percent compared with 2008, hitting a record low of 374,000 units. The Federal Reserve responded by leaving short-term lending rates at near zero and pledged to keep them low. “This report does not totally ruin the notion that housing is recovering, but it does underscore the fragility of that recovery. It’s not good news for broader economic growth,” said Dana Saporta, an economist at Stone & McCarthy Research in Princeton, New Jersey.
Source: Reuters News, Lucia Mutikani (01/27/2010)