16 July 2008 19:50 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US house builder confidence fell to a new low in July as sales fell, credit tightened and the economy sank, a trade group said on Wednesday.
The housing industry is a key downstream consuming sector for chemicals and chemicals-based products such as roofing materials, adhesives, insulation, siding, paints and coatings, synthetic materials, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes and a broad range of other construction materials.
Each housing start engenders on average over $16,000 (€10,080) worth of chemistry, according to the American Chemistry Council (ACC).
An index that measures house-builder confidence fell to 16, down from 18 in June, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). June was the previous record-low month for the index.
"Builders are reporting that traffic of prospective buyers has fallen off substantially in recent months," said David Seiders, the group's chief economist.
"Given the systematic deterioration of job markets, rising energy costs and sinking home values aggravated by the rising tide of foreclosures, many prospective buyers have simply returned to the sidelines until conditions improve," he said.
Measurements within the index also reached new lows, the NAHB said. An index measuring current sales conditions fell by one point to 16.
An index gauging future sales expectations fell four points to 23, the group said. An index measuring traffic of possible buyers also fell four points to reach 12.
($1 = €0.63)Paul Hodges looks behind today's headlines and studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy
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