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Consumer spending down in May


NEW YORK The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index declined again in May, driven downward primarily by the housing market.

"The year-over-year pace of decline in real consumer spending appears to have stabilized, however, recovery is being delayed by a sharp increase in consumer savings, which has risen to 5.7% from zero a year ago," said Carl Steidtmann, chief economist with Deloitte Research, a subsidiary of Deloitte Services LP, and author of the monthly Index. "However, the weakness in the Index was driven almost entirely by falling home prices, which are down nearly 14% over the past year, undermining small gains in real wages, a declining tax burden and current stabilization in new unemployment claims."


The Index, comprising four components -- tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices -- fell to 1.35% from an downwardly revised gain of 1.44% a month ago.

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