The Case-Shiller index of existing house prices posted a 10.9% year-over-year jump in April, its best performance since April of 2006. “The broad-based housing improvements appear to be buoying consumer confidence and spending,” the New York Times reported, “countering fears earlier this year that many consumers would pull back in response to government austerity measures” (Home Prices Rise, Putting Country in Buying Mood,” by Catherine Rampell. The Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence also reached a five-year high in May, reports the Times.