Economic Growth

Economy Shows Signs of Non-Stimulus-Related Growth

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Strong housing, factory and confidence data out Tuesday backed the Federal Reserve's stimulus-tapering outlook, pointing to an economy that may finally be able to ditch its crutches.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index rose to the highest in 5-1/2 years in June. Consumers were also the most upbeat on the job market since 2008, and they were more likely to buy big-ticket items.

Confidence was likely aided by surging home prices, which rose 12.1% in April vs. a year earlier, according to Case-Shiller's 20-city index. It was the biggest gain in more than seven years. New-home sales hit a five-year high of 476,000 in May, the Commerce Department said.