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    Consumer Confidence Rises to 83.8

    NEW YORK - The New York-based Conference Board today said its Consumer Confidence Index rose to 83.8 in May from 81 in April. Analysts had projected an index reading of 84.

    NEW YORK - The New York-based Conference Board today said its Consumer Confidence Index rose to 83.8 in May from 81 in April. Analysts had projected an index reading of 84.

    "The post-war euphoria experienced last month has quickly given way and consumers' focus has returned to matters on the home front," said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board's Consumer Research Center.

    Economists closely track consumer confidence because consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of all economic activity in the United States and has kept the economy afloat since it fell into recession in 2000.

    Franco said in Tuesday's report that consumers continue to be concerned about the current weak job market, but that they "anticipate a turnaround in the coming months."

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