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Consumer Spending Rose in July

The Commerce Department reports that consumer spending rose 0.4 percent in July, representing the fastest pace in four months (March saw a 0.5 percent increase in spending). The July increase in spending was fueled by a jump in demand for automobiles. Personal incomes were also up 0.2 percent in July. This was less than economists expected, but represented an improvement over June when incomes did not rise at all. However, if unemployment remains near double digits, demand - and spending - could slow in the second half of this year.

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