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Americans spend

Consumers in the United States increased spending last month for a second straight month even though their incomes slipped due to continuing massive layoffs. The Commerce Department yesterday reported consumer spending edged up 0.2 percent last month. That follows a 1-percent jump in January. But it says incomes fell by 0.2 percent last month, the fourth drop in the past five months, declines that reflected the number of job layoffs because of the recession. After-tax incomes also fell last month, edging down by 0.1 percent. The personal savings rate dipped slightly to 4.2 percent last month.


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