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Consumer Spending Down

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Feb. 13, 2007 -- Declines in the housing market are driving down consumer spending in February, Deloitte & Touche reported Tuesday.

The New York-based consulting firm's consumer spending index fell to 3.58 percent from 3.86 percent in January, the report said.

The index, which tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future spending, is based on an analysis of personal income tax burden, real wages, initial unemployment claims, and home prices.

"While consumer spending still has good momentum going into the New Year, we're seeing a balancing act between the housing market and the labor market, which are exerting opposite forces on the economy," Carl Steidtmann, the chief economist of the firm's research group, said in a statement.   

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