Bloomberg News WASHINGTON - U.S. sales of previously owned homes unexpectedly rose in June, an industry survey showed, as near-record consumer optimism outweighed an increase in mortgage costs.

Sales rose 2.8% last month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.23 million units - the highest in almost a year - the National Association of Realtors said. In May home resales rose 4.3%, to a 5.09 million-unit pace.

A separate report showed the Conference Board's consumer confidence index rose to 141.7 in July, from a revised 139.2 in June, moving it closer to the record level of 144.7 in May and January. June's index was previously reported as 138.8.

The reports tell "the Federal Reserve it is too early to take it for granted that the economy is going to continue to slow down smoothly without further" rate increases, said Suzanne Rizzo, chief U.S. economist at Maria Fiorini Ramirez.

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