U.S. consumer confidence reaches a 6-year high

WASHINGTON — U.S. consumers are more confident about the economy than they have been in more than six years.

The Conference Board says its confidence index rose to 85.2 this month from a revised 82.2 in May. The June figure is the highest since January 2008, a month after the Great Recession officially began.

More Americans are optimistic about business conditions and the outlook for jobs, though they’re less confident that their incomes will grow.

The index compiled by the Conference Board, a private research group, shows that confidence has been rising steadily since bottoming at 25.3 in February 2009.

It still hasn’t returned to full health. Before the recession, the index usually topped 90.

Consumers’ attitudes are closely watched because their spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.

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