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There's More Than One Way To Turn On The Spending Tap


Economic Trends

THERE'S MORE THAN ONE WAY TO TURN ON THE SPENDING TAP

Early tax refunds may have boosted consumer spending early in the year. Something else likely to have given spending a lift, say economists at Goldman, Sachs & Co., was a sudden increase in federal benefit outlays. For the three months ended February, Veterans Benefits Administration and Veterans Health Administration spending surged 11.5% over outlays a year earlier. This outsize gain should be viewed as temporary, and consumers may revert to more "cautious" spending behavior, predict Goldman Sachs economists.KAREN PENNAR


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