State and Nation Business

U.S. builder confidence falls on weak supply, labor

Confidence among U.S. homebuilders fell this month because of concerns that limited land, building materials and labor will slow sales in the short term. But builders' outlook for sales over the next six months reached its strongest point in more than six years, suggesting the decline is temporary.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index fell to 44 from 46 in February. It was the second decline since January. Measures of customer traffic and current sales conditions both declined from February's reading.

Readings below 50 suggest negative sentiment about the housing market. The last time the index was at 50 or higher was in April 2006.

The index began trending higher in October 2011, when it was 17. That coincided with the start of a housing recovery.

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