DETROIT (WWJ) –  PulteGroup Inc.,  the Bloomfield Hills based homebuilder is expressing guarded optimism that sales trends so far this year could signal improved home sales this spring.

CEO Richard Dugas Jr., said the homebuilder saw encouraging levels of traffic from prospective buyers and sales last month. That could bode well for the spring, traditionally a strong season for home sales.

Homebuilders are a bellwether for the housing market and the economy.

Each new home built creates, on average, the equivalent of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in taxes paid to local and federal authorities, by some estimates.