By Shobhana Chandra and Nina Glinski
Buyers swarmed builder lots in May to propel the biggest gain in sales of new homes in 22 years, while consumer confidence this month was the strongest since 2008, showing how an improving U.S. job market is giving the economy a much-needed lift.
Home sales jumped 18.6 percent, the largest one-month surge since January 1992, to a 504,000 annualized pace, according to figures from the Commerce Department today in Washington. Another report showed household sentiment climbed in June to the highest point since the early days of the recession that began more than six years ago.
Payroll gains that have exceeded 200,000 workers for four consecutive months and stable borrowing costs at historically low levels are…