The Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released on April 21 shows that the home improvement spending increases of 10.3% and 6.3% for the second and third quarters, respectively, of 2011 will slow to 0.2% in the fourth quarter. This slowdown reflects the stalled housing recovery and Americans’ concern over the pace of economic growth. 

"Given all the economic uncertainty that we’re seeing nationally, the home improvement recovery is expected to be rocky," said Eric S. Belsky, managing director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, in a press release. "Spending patterns through the remainder of the year are expected to reflect recent volatility in the housing market."

The release also offers input from Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center, who says, “Recent softness in the housing market and continued pessimism among remodeling contractors point to a slowdown in the remodeling market toward the end of the year.”

The next LIRA release date is July 21, 2011. —Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.