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NEW HOME SALES DECLINE IN MAY, ACCORDING TO NAHB

 NEW HOME SALES DECLINE IN MAY, ACCORDING TO NAHB
 WASHINGTON, June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- New home sales fell for the


fourth consecutive month in May, dropping to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 501,000 and raising serious concerns that the nation's lackluster economic recovery is in danger of stalling out, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
 "Housing gave the economy a couple of good months, with single- family housing activity accounting for about one-fourth of the increase in overall economic growth during the first quarter of the year," said NAHB President Robert "Jay" Buchert. "But home sales have slipped back to the lowest level since last September, which means housing will play only a secondary role in helping lead the economy out of recession during the remainder of the year."
 The pace of new home sales activity hit a peak at an annual rate of 667,000 in January. The sales rate slowed to 627,000 in February, and then to 546,000 in March, 531,000 in April and 501,000 in May.
 The biggest slowdown in May was in the West, where the annual sales rate fell to 105,000, the lowest sales rate since August 1981.
 To stimulate the housing sector, Buchert called on the Federal Reserve Board to further reduce interest rates and urged Congress to resurrect a tax credit for first-time home buyers as part of urban aid legislation now under consideration by the tax-writing committees.
 "The tax credit," Buchert noted, "would stimulate new construction, put thousands of unemployed people back to work and help boost consumer confidence. Such a move would help breathe new life into today's anemic economic recovery."
 -0- 6/29/92
 /CONTACT: Jay Shackford of the National Association of Home Builders, 202-822-0406/ CO: National Association of Home Builders ST: District of Columbia IN: SU: ECO


TW -- DC081 -- 4808 06/29/92 14:52 EDT
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Date:Jun 29, 1992
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