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US consumer data healthy

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  • Writer: Associated Press
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WASHINGTON — US consumers earned more and spent more in February, helped by a stronger job market that has offset some of the drag from higher taxes. 

The Commerce Department said on Friday that consumer spending rose 0.7% in February from January. It was the biggest gain in five months and followed a revised 0.4% rise in January, which was double the initial estimate.

Americans were able to spend more because their incomes rose 1.1% last month. That followed January's 3.7% plunge and December's 2.6% surge. The huge swings reflected a rush to pay bonuses and dividends in December before taxes increased.

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