This morning’s release of the monthly sentiment survey from the National Association of Home Builders showed a modest decline in July. While economists were expecting the sentiment index to come in at a level of 60, which would have been unchanged from June, the actual reading declined slightly to 59. The table to the right breaks down this month’s report by traffic and both present and future sales as well as sentiment by region. Interestingly, while sentiment across all categories was down slightly this month, sentiment by region was up in every area of the country except the South, where the sentiment index declined by four points. In the Northeast, on the other hand, sentiment recouped some of its recent weakness by rising three points to 42. As shown in the lower chart, though, despite the big increase in the Northeast and the even bigger sentiment decline in the South, this month’s moves really did little to change the overall trends already in place.