NEW YORK - Consumer optimism about the U.S. economy surged to a 31-year high this month, buoyed by low unemployment and the wealth-creating effect of rising stock prices, Conference Board figures released Tuesday showed.

"The news just keeps getting better and better," said Phil Hill, an economist at Briefing.com in Jackson, Wyo. "There's no indication the economy's cooling off," he said, even after three interest rate increases this year by the Federal Reserve.

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