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Consumer confidence decreases from 6-year high

WASHINGTON — Confidence among US consumers declined in April from a six-year high as Americans were less enthusiastic about the economy and labor market.

The Conference Board’s index decreased to 82.3 from 83.9 a month earlier, which was stronger than initially estimated and the highest since January 2008, the New York-based private research group said Tuesday.

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Limited gains in the stock market this year, rising prices at the gas pump, and a slowdown in the housing market tied in part to higher interest rates risk leaving Americans less sanguine about their finances.

At the same time, more people anticipated an increase in job opportunities in the next six months, which would help keep sentiment and consumer spending from faltering.

‘‘Consumer attitudes in this cycle, as have so many things, have kind of lagged what we would consider to be normal in the mature phase of a recovery,’’ said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities LLC in Stamford, Conn. ‘‘Attitudes continue to be pretty restrained in terms of the job market.’’

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