NEW YORK — Consumer confidence hit a six-month high this month as reservations about current circumstances were muted by budding optimism about the future.

With the end of military action in Iraq receding into memory, consumers were more mindful of the nation’s economy in May. While a bit solemn about the present, they viewed the future positively, allowing the Conference Board’s survey of 5,000 households to notch up 2.8 points to 83.8 in May. The gain follows a 19.6 point surge in April which provided a pleasant postwar surprise for economists and analysts.

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