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The confidence of US consumers surged in November, the Conference Board reported. Its index of Americans' willingness to spend rose to 135.8 last month from a revised 130.5 in October - the first increase in five months. The jump was greater than analysts had expected, and it left the index only about 4 points below its peak of 139 in June, the highest reading in more than 30 years.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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