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Opinion

October 17, 2012

Consumer spending surge

NORMAN — American consumers opened up their wallets in September. They bought more than new iPhones, too.

The Commerce Department said consumer spending surged 1.1 percent, adding on to a spending spree in August. Together, August and September were the best sales months in two years.

It comes on the heels of a report showing employment improved slightly and a separate study showing consumer confidence at its highest level in five years.

The Commerce Department also said companies increased inventories in August in anticipation of a continued surge in consumer confidence.

Some of September’s numbers reflected higher gasoline and food prices. The downside is consumers will cut back elsewhere to put food on the table and gasoline in the tank.

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