Home Sales May Drop, Durable Orders Stall

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U.S. home sales fell in October to the lowest in at least eight years and business spending stalled as the real-estate slump rippled through the economy, economists said before reports this week.

Total purchases of new and existing homes fell 1 percent to an annual pace of 5.75 million, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Orders for long- lasting goods were little changed following the biggest back-to- back declines in at least 15 years, a separate report may show.

The housing recession will persist into 2008 as banks tighten lending rules, foreclosures rise and prospective buyers wait for further price declines, economists said. Business and consumer spending are likely to cool this quarter, leading to a deceleration in growth. [MORE]