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Consumer confidence hits 2-year high

Americans expect more jobs, higher incomes

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The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index, which was virtually unchanged last month, increased sharply in June. The index now stands at 101.9 (1985=100), up from 93.1 in May. The present situation index is now 104.8, up from 90.5 in May. The expectations index rose to 100 from 94.8. "The strong improvement in current conditions has propelled consumer confidence to levels not seen since June 2002," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board's Consumer Research Center. "Looking ahead, consumers expect the economy to continue to grow at a healthy clip and to continue to generate additional jobs. And, with prices at the pump beginning to ease, the short-term outlook remains favorable." Consumers' assessment of current conditions improved considerably in June. Those saying business conditions are "good" rose to 25.6 percent, up from 22.2 percent. Those claiming conditions have worsened fell to 17.5 percent from 21.6 percent. Consumers claiming jobs are "hard to get" decre...