Consumer spending slows, factories roar
U.S. consumer spending barely edged up in January as households took advantage of tax cuts to rebuild their savings; suggesting spending would only offer a modest lift to the recovery in the first quarter. Other data painted a bullish picture of the manufacturing sector, with a gauge of factory activity in the country's Midwest hitting a 22-1/2 year high in February, which should help the economy weather rising oil prices and maintain its steady growth momentum.
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