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Consumers Step Up Their Spending

Wall Street Journal (03/30/13) Sarah Portlock; Kathleen Madigan

The U.S. Commerce Department on March 29 reported that consumer spending rose 0.7% in February, the largest gain since September. The increase prompted several economists to revise upward their growth estimates for the first part of 2013. Macroeconomic Advisers said it now expects 3.5% growth in the first quarter, up three-tenths of a percentage point from earlier estimates. Americans saw bigger paychecks and stepped up their spending last month, despite higher taxes and gas prices, boosting the economy’s growth outlook for the first quarter.