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Consumer confidence ticks up

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By The Associated Press
Saturday, March 1, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

A rising stock market and a more optimistic outlook among younger Americans pushed up a measure of consumer sentiment in February.

The University of Michigan says its index of consumer sentiment rose to 81.6 from 81.2 in January, still slightly below December.

The harsh winter had only a modest impact. The survey found Americans are more upbeat about their prospects than at any time in the past six months. Those younger than 35 were the most optimistic in six years about their income potential.

At the same time, the cost of home heating caused some older Americans to take a dimmer view of their finances.

Survey director Richard Curtin says that consumers' resilience in the face of cold weather bodes well for future spending.

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