US home sales improve

Home sales in the US rose slightly in November from record lows. Sales of previously owned homes rose 0.4% to five million, the National Association of Realtors says.

The supply of unsold homes also fell. However economists believe this is just a small respite before the picture becomes even more gloomy. A significant number of mortgages will be changed over to higher 2008 interest rates, which is expected to increase the number of foreclosures, resulting in even lower prices.

There was more good news from the US on Christmas Eve, with consumer spending also rising in November. The Commerce Department reports that consumer purchases jumped 1.1% in November, which was the largest monthly increase in three years.


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