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Washington – Americans’ consumer confidence rose in August to the highest level in nearly 18 years as their assessment of current conditions improved further and their expectations about the future rebounded.

The Conference Board says its consumer confidence index rose to 133.4 in August, up from a reading 127.9 in July. It was the highest reading since confidence stood at 135.8 in October 2000.

Consumers’ confidence in their ability to get a job and the overall economy are seen as important indicators of how freely they will spend, especially on big-ticket items such as cars, in coming months. Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.

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