Sales of new homes in the United States declined 1.6 percent in May, evidence that the slump in the housing market is continuing for a second year.
Tuesday's report from the Commerce Department showed that if sales continued at May's pace for a year, just 915,000 new homes would change hands.
Analysts blame rising interest rates and a glut of unsold homes for the decline.
Besides the housing market, consumers tell researchers they are also worried about jobs and high energy prices. A separate report by a business group showed consumer confidence declining in June (by 4.6 points to a reading of 103.9).
Economists track consumer confidence for clues about the consumer spending that drives most of the U.S. economy.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.