(Bloomberg) — Confidence among U.S. consumers advanced to the highest level since the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. pushed the economy deeper into the recession.

The Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment rose to 61.9, the second straight gain, from 57.3 in March. The index reached a three-decade low of 55.3 in November.

Today’s report reflects signs that the longest U.S. recession in the postwar era may be easing. An improvement in confidence may help temper the slide in consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the economy, and boosts the odds that the economic slump will end this year.

Source: Bloomberg News

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