Economy

Consumer Confidence Index Up

Highest level in six years credited to stock market, lower gas prices

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Consumer confidence rose in May to the highest level in almost six years as an advancing stock market and cheaper gas prices helped lift Americans' outlook on the economy.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment rose to 83.7 in May, the highest since July 2007, from 76.4 the prior month, a report today showed. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey was for a gain to 77.9. Forecasts ranged from 74 to 82.5. The index averaged 64.2 during the recession that ended in June 2009 and 89 in the five years prior.