A surge in the sale of newly built homes in the U.S. caught economists off guard. Sales in October increased 6.2% from the previous month, according to the Housing and Urban Development Department and the Census Bureau. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of 430,000 units compares with the 410,000 forecast by economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters. Cameron Findlay, chief economist at LendingTree.com, said new-home sales are crucial to driving GDP growth. "New-home sales are going to require the construction worker to go to the site," Findlay said. "They are going to require new materials. They are going to require more labor."

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