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Deloitte Consumer Spending Index on the rise


NEW YORK The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index rose in February, once again driven by strong growth in real wages and a decline in energy prices.

 "Falling oil prices and reduced tax burdens are giving consumers the wherewithal to spend. What they are lacking is the will to do so," said Carl Steidtmann, chief economist with Deloitte Research, a subsidiary of Deloitte Services LP, and author of the monthly Index. "At the same time, real inflation adjusted home prices are still down nearly 9 percent from a year ago and are a drag on the Index. The rebound in the Index coupled with anticipated tax cuts point to a better selling environment for retailers this spring. However, a full recovery in consumer spending will likely have to wait for stabilization of the housing market."

The Index, comprising four components -- tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices -- increased to 1.53%, from an upwardly revised gain of 1.27% a month ago.

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