CONFIDENCE BOOST: Confidence among U.S. homebuilders rebounded strongly this month from November, a sign that construction and industry hiring may pick up in coming months.
THE NUMBERS: The latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index climbed to 58. That's up from 54 in November and matches an eight-year high reached in August. Readings above 50 indicate that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.
SALES OUTLOOK: Builders' view of current sales conditions jumped to the highest level in eight years, while their outlook for sales heading into next year's spring home-selling season also improved.