• Consumer spending in the U.S. probably rose in May for the first time in three months and home sales increased as Americans became more confident the recession will end this year, economists said before reports this week.
  • Sales of existing homes climbed 3 percent to an annual pace of 4.82 million, the highest level since October, when the economy was in the throes of the financial crisis, according to the survey median. Foreclosure-driven declines in property values are helping to reduce the glut of unsold houses. The National Association of Realtors’ report is due June 23. The next day, Commerce data may show purchases of new homes rose 2.3 percent in May to an annual pace of 360,000.
  • In another sign of the improving economic outlook, the Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment probably rose to 69 in June, the highest level in nine months, from 68.7 in May, economists’ forecasts show. The figures are due on June 26.
  • Business in Las Vegas has “clearly bottomed out,” said Jim Murren, chief executive officer of casino company MGM Mirage. “It’s just a matter of how long we’re going to be on the bottom, and that is what we’re debating internally,” Murren said in a telephone interview last week. “The business trends are no longer deteriorating.”

By Shobhana Chandra, June 21, 2009 Bloomberg

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