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US home builder confidence unchanged in February

U.S. home builder confidence remained unchanged at the level of 72 in February, the National Association of Home Builders said, with contractors optimistic that the pro-business political climate will strengthen the housing market.

NAHB Chairman Randy Noel, however, said that builders need to manage supply-side construction hurdles, including shortages of labor and building material price increases.

The housing market index, or HMI, component charting sales expectations in the next six months edged up 2 points to 80 in February.

The index measuring buyer traffic was steady at 54, while the component gauging current sales conditions slipped 1 point to 78.

"The HMI gauge of future sales expectations has reached a post-recession high, an indicator that consumer demand for housing should grow in the months ahead," said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.