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Consumer confidence index in US increased to 96.2 in March

[WASHINGTON] The Conference Board's index of consumer confidence increased to 96.2 in March from 94 a month earlier, the New York-based private research group said Tuesday.

The median forecast of 66 economists in a Bloomberg survey called for a reading of 94, with estimates ranging from 91 to 96.5.

Another report Tuesday showed home values kept appreciating in January, with prices in 20 US cities rising 5.7 per cent from a year earlier, according to S&P/Case-Shiller.

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