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WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans’ confidence in the economy rose to its highest level in more than five years, bolstered by a more optimistic outlook for hiring.

The Conference Board, a New York-based private research group, says its consumer confidence index jumped to 81.4 in June from 74.3 in May. Last month’s figure was revised slightly downward from 76.2.

Consumers’ confidence in the economy is watched closely because their spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.

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