Confidence among U.S. home builders rose to a one-year high, another sign that the worst of the housing decline that began in 2006 has passed.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo confidence index climbed to 18 in August, matching forecasts by economists and reaching its highest level since June 2008, the Washington trade group said Monday. A reading below 50, however, means most respondents view conditions as poor.

The median estimate of 37 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for the index to rise to 18 this month, from 17 in July. Estimates ranged from 17 to 21.

The gauge reached a record low of 8 in January and averaged 16 in 2008. It was first published in January 1985.

The confidence survey asks builders to characterize current sales as "good," "fair" or "poor" and to gauge prospective buyers' traffic. It also asks participants to assess the outlook for the next six months.

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