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In contrast to Americans in general, Utahns were more confident than ever last month in the state of the economy.

Zions Bank's Consumer Attitude Index increased 2.5 points from August to September, the 109.3 reading representing a gain of 16.7 points over the past year.

Nationally, consumer confidence dropped 7.4 points in September after hitting its highest level (93.4) in seven years during August. Economists said the U.S. decline is probably a temporary slip unlikely to stem consumer spending in coming months.

Zions Bank President and CEO Scott Anderson attributed Utah's steadily increasing confidence level to a "solid" labor market. The state had an August unemployment rate of 3.6 percent (compared to 6.1 percent nationally), while the number of jobs available was 3.5 percent higher than a year earlier, according to the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

While most Utahns do not expect to see higher incomes from the expanding labor market, fewer anticipate their wages and benefits will decrease.

"We continue to create jobs in industries that are essential to the economic prosperity of the state," he added. "Our recent graduates and labor force veterans alike play a critical role in Utah's economic development."

Almost half (48 percent) of the people responding to the survey conducted for Zions by The Cicero Group feel business conditions in the state are good — the same as in August — while the number anticipating things will get even better increased slightly.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.