A lot of economic data has been weak lately, but the two relative bright spots have been in the employment and housing related sectors. This morning was no exception as the economic calendar kicked off the week on a positive note with a stronger than expected read on home builder confidence for the month of October. While economists were expecting overall sentiment to come in at a level of 62, the actual reading came in at 64, which is the highest level in exactly ten years (October 2005).
The table to the right breaks down this month’s report by category and region (charts below). As shown, both Present and Future Sales were up this month, while Traffic was unchanged. Present Sales also hit its highest level since October 2005, while Future Sales hit their highest level since August 2005. Sentiment on a regional basis was also mostly positive in October with every region except the Midwest seeing confidence improve. Confidence here declined two points from 61 down to 59 but still remains near its highs of the recovery. In all three other regions, though, sentiment increased to the highest levels of the cycle.