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Home prices kept rising in July across the country, thanks to greater sales numbers and fewer foreclosures. According to a Standard and Poor's/Case Shiller index report out Tuesday, home prices increased by 1.2 percent in July, compared to last July. Home prices also saw a gain since June. Analysts think record low mortgage rates are encouraging people to both sell and buy more homes.

Another good sign of economic recovery: consumer confidence is up. The index shows people say they're more optimistic about job creation and their own personal finances. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows consumers spent 3 percent more in 2011 on food, transportation costs and health care. But the spending jump just barely out-paced inflation.