Jan. 11, 2007 -- Gains in hourly earnings and home prices will boost consumer spending this month, according to Deloitte & Touche.

The Deloitte Research Leading Index of Consumer Spending rose to 4.06 percent from 3.68 percent in December. The monthly index tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future spending.

"January and February should be quite strong as consumers redeem their gift cards, and retailers should focus on ways to upsell those consumers to maximize sales and profits," Pat Conroy, the firm's vice chairman, said in a statement.

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