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Steady job growth boosts US consumer confidence despite economy's slowdown

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FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 23, 2012 file photo, a cashier hands a customer his change and receipt during a transaction at a Sears store, in Henderson, Nev. The University of Michigan issues its index of consumer sentiment for June, 2014 on Friday, June 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File) (The Associated Press)

Strong job growth lifted U.S. consumer confidence this month, as Americans looked past the economy's dismal first quarter performance.

The University of Michigan says that its index of consumer sentiment rose slightly to 82.5 in June from 81.9 in May. That is still below April's reading of 84.1, which had been the highest in almost a year.

The reading suggests consumers shrugged off the economy's first quarter contraction. Still, the survey was conducted before the government said the economy shrank much more than previously estimated, at an annual rate of 2.9 percent rather than 1 percent.

And better confidence hasn't yet translated into more spending.

Steady hiring is improving American's finances, the survey found. Forty percent of respondents said their finances had improved in June, the most in seven years.

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