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Consumer sentiment at highest level since fall 2007


New York -- Consumer confidence in May rose to the highest level since October 2007, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment. The index rose increased to 79.3 from 76.4 the prior month.

Industry analysts said a decline in gas prices and an improving housing market is helping offset slower job growth and volatile stock prices.

Estimates for the confidence measure ranged from 76 to 79, according to a Bloomberg survey of 60 economists.

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