US homebuilder confidence, outlook surge in April on expectations of robust sales this spring

U.S. homebuilders are feeling more optimistic about their prospects for a strong spring home-selling season.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index rose this month to 56, up four points from March.

Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor.

Builders' outlook for sales of single-family homes over the next six months climbed to its highest level since December. Measures of current sales conditions and traffic by prospective buyers also rose.

The latest reading is consistent with the NAHB's forecast for the U.S. housing market to recover at a steady, gradual pace this year.

New home sales shot up in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 539,000, the strongest performance in seven years.