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Confidence hits two-year high

NEW YORK — Buoyed by an improving jobs outlook, consumer confidence jumped up for a fourth consecutive month in June, rising 3.2 percent to a reading of 106.1, up from 102.8 in June, The Conference Board reported.

The bellwether gauge of consumer sentiment — a widely watched barometer of future consumer spending, the engine that drives the U.S. economy — now stands at its highest level in two years, since June 2002, when it reached a level of 106.3.

"The spring turnaround has been fueled by gains in employment, and unless the job market sours, consumer confidence should continue to post solid numbers," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board's Consumer Research Center.

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