U.S. Builder Confidence Slips Amid Budget Battle

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Builder Sentiment (In this Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, photo, construction worker Miguel Fonseca carries lumber as he works on a hous
Gregory Bull/AP

U.S. homebuilders were less confident in the housing market in October, reflecting their uncertainty over the budget impasse in Washington.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index slipped two points to 55. The September reading was revised down from an initial reading of 58.

Measures of current sales conditions for single-family homes, builders' outlook over the next six months and traffic by prospective buyers all fell from September. The partial government shutdown has made it harder for some buyers to close on their mortgages, raising concerns that a prolonged shutdown could undercut the strength of the housing recovery.

Still, builders remain optimistic that the recovery will endure. Any reading above 50 indicates more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor.

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