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U.S. homebuilders confidence stays low in September

09-21-2010 11:26 BJT

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- U.S. homebuilders' confidence remains at an 18-month low in September, indicating that the country's housing market is still in a painful way, reported a leading industry organization on Monday.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) says that its monthly index of builders' sentiment this month was unchanged at 13. The index has now been at the lowest level since March 2009 for two straight months.

Economists had expected the index to edge up to 14.

A reading above 50 means positive sentiment about the market. The index has not been above 50 since April 2006.

Analysts said that homebuilders continue to be pessimistic about current housing market conditions.

Many economists believe that the Federal Reserve will resume large-scale purchases of longer-term U.S. government bonds in the coming months in an effort to keep mortgage cost low.

The Fed's policy-making panel is scheduled to meet on Tuesday to decide whether to keep the interest rate at a historically low level. It is widely expected that the central bank will keep the interest rate unchanged for an extended period.

The housing slump, which started in 2006 after five years of white-hot development, is still underway due to tight credit markets, souring consumer confidence in the overall economy and high unemployment.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: Xinhua

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