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NEWS IN BRIEF

Report Finds Signs of Remodeling Rebound

April 28, 2002

U.S. spending on home remodeling fell less than 0.2% in the first quarter from a year earlier, a sign that the recession was ending, a Harvard University report said.

Homeowners spent $106.5 billion on renovation supplies such as tile, lumber and kitchen sinks, compared with $106.7 billion a year earlier.

Spending rose from $103.7 billion in the previous quarter, according to the university's Joint Center for Housing Studies.

In the fourth quarter, the recession and the September terrorist attacks led to the biggest annualized drop in remodeling spending since the center began tracking such statistics in 1999.

Spending has picked up since then because of an improving economy, low interest rates and a record 5.3 million home resales last year, said Nick Retsinas, director of the center.

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