State and Nation Business

Consumer sentiment stays near 6-year high

WASHINGTON – A measure of U.S. consumer confidence remained near a six-year high in June as higher home and stock prices boosted household wealth.

The University of Michigan says its index of consumer sentiment dipped to 84.1 in June from 84.5 the previous month. May's reading was the highest since July 2007.

Rising household wealth was the main reason consumers stayed optimistic. Households with income above $75,000, those more likely to own homes and stocks, reported the biggest gain.

More Americans said they planned to buy a home, despite rising mortgage rates. The number of consumers who said it was a bad time to buy a home fell to the fewest in 10 years.

Consumers' confidence is closely watched because their spending accounts for 70 percent of economic growth.

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