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Deloitte: Consumer Spending Stays the Course in March

""Deloitte's"":https://www.deloitte.com/view/en_US/us/index.htmc Consumer Spending Index, which tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future spending, remained largely ""on a steady course"" in March as the economy stabilized.

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The company reported an index reading of 4.12 for March, down a bit from 4.37 the previous month. While the dip may not be seen as a positive development, Deloitte notes [COLUMN_BREAK]

the index has remained fairly steady over the past five months, remaining above the 4.0 mark.

""The drastic ups and downs among factors including wages, home prices and unemployment claims have subsided, delivering more stability to the Index, which remains at a level consistent with real personal consumption growth of around 2 percent at an annual rate,"" said Patricia Buckley, director of economic policy and analysis at Deloitte Services LP and author of the monthly index.

Real new home prices moved up 0.6 percent in March, arriving at $106,027. Meanwhile, tax burden--another component that makes up the index--moved down slightly, Deloitte reported.

""Rising real home prices and small but steady consumer spending increases are among factors suggesting the country may be poised for growth this year, should the economy avoid negative impacts from Europe's financial troubles or the debt ceiling debate this summer,"" Buckley added.

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