Upswing Likely for U.S. Home Improvement Spending

A gradually improving U.S. economy and signs of housing market stabilization may lead to a modest increase in home improvement spending this year, according to Fitch Ratings in a new report.

The home improvement industry is showing early signs of a moderate recovery following three years of declines. There are also early indications that homeowners, although still cautious, are somewhat more willing to undertake discretionary-type projects and purchases. As such, Fitch projects home improvement spending to increase 3.5% in 2010.