The National Association of Home Builders said Monday its housing market index, which measures builder sentiment about current and anticipated home sales, rose to a record level in June.

The seasonally adjusted index rose to 71, from 68 in May. The previous record was 70, in December 1993.

Economist Michael S. Carliner said the trade group still expects construction and sales to slow down later this year-but by less than it earlier forecast. It now projects that housing starts will total 1.49 million, exceeding last year's 1.477 million level. The group had forecast that fewer units would be built this year than last.

This morning, the Commerce Department will report on housing starts in May. The National Association of Home Builders projects starts fell for the third consecutive month to an annualized level of 1.5 million units in May.

- Snigdha Prakash

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