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Washington (AFP) — U.S. consumer confidence increased for the second straight month in June to its highest level since January 2008, when the U.S. economy was sinking into recession, The Conference Board reported Tuesday.

The consumer confidence index rose to 85.2, up from 82.2 the previous month, with consumers more positive about the outlook for the labor market and holding greater expectations overall for the next six months.

“Expectations regarding the short-term outlook for the economy and jobs were moderately more favorable, while income expectations were a bit mixed. Still, the momentum going forward remains quite positive,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.

More consumers saw current conditions as “good” than as “bad,” and those seeing job opportunities as rising increased to 16.3 percent of respondents, while the number of those expecting fewer opportunities declined to 18.7 percent.

Chris Christopher, director for U.S. consumer economics at IHS Global Insight, noted the gains came despite rises in food and gasoline prices.

“Consumer confidence may take a hit during the summer months if food prices keep on increasing and consumers start feeling the pump-price pinch,” he said.

AFP Photo / Andrew Burton

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