Sales of existing homes rose 7.6 percent nationally in April and the median home price increased 4 percent from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rose to 63.3 in May compared to April, the third consecutive monthly gain. Although low compared to pre-recession years, the recent increase reflects consumers' confidence about job prospects.
The Institute for Supply Management reported that its business barometer was 59.7 in May. A figure above 50 suggests expansion.