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(Bloomberg) — Consumer confidence in the U.S. unexpectedly rose in October to the highest level in seven years, showing a brightening in Americans’ moods as gas prices drop and the labor market gains traction.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary sentiment index for this month increased to 86.4, the strongest since July 2007, from a final reading of 84.6 in September. The median projection in a Bloomberg survey of 67 economists called for 84.

Job gains on pace for their strongest year since 1999 and cheaper gas prices are keeping households upbeat about economic expansion amid the weakening in Europe and emerging nations. Faster wage increases and more broad-based improvement in the labor market would help further spur the consumer spending that makes up about 70 percent of the economy.

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