CONSUMERS: Spending the Tax Rebate

Tax-rebate checks of $100 to $200 each are now on their way to or already in the hands of nearly 40 million people (out of a total of 70 million who will eventually receive them), making more urgent the biggest economic question of the moment: What will consumers do with the bulk of the money? Use it to repay old bills? Tuck it away in savings accounts? Or spend it promptly in ways that could help the economy recover from its worst slump since the 1930s? Last week a survey by TIME correspondents clearly indicated that most of the early...

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