Consumer optimism about the economy stalled last month.

The Conference Board said Tuesday that its index of consumer confidence registered 71.7 in June, essentially unchanged from 71.9 in May.

The index had climbed steadily for the previous three months and in May hit the highest reading since September's mark of 72.

James Coons,chief economist at Huntington National Bank in Columbus, Ohio, called the latest reading "a little disappointing." Economists had been predicting another slight increase in the index.

Economic reports have been mixed in recent days, with new home sales falling 5.6% in May and after-tax personal income increasing only 0.1% in the same period.

On a slightly more positive note, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday that its index of leading economic indicators rose 0.6% in May.

In its survey of 5,000 households, the Conference Board, a New York-based research organization, found that people continue to worry about employment conditions, with 41.2% of those questioned saying that jobs are hard to find.

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