(AP) - CONSUMER CONFIDENCE: The Conference Board said Tuesday that its index of consumer confidence rose in May to 76.2. That's up from a reading of 69 in April and the highest level in five years.
CONFIDENCE BOOSTERS: Surging home values, steady job gains and record-setting stock prices made Americans more confident about business conditions and the outlook for hiring.
OUTLOOK: Consumers' confidence in the economy is closely watched because their spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity. Greater confidence suggests economic growth will pick up in the second half of 2013.
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