State of Business: How They're Spending Their Tax-Cut Money

In the past dozen weeks, shopkeepers and economic policymakers have pondered a $9 billion question: What would consumers do with their new tax savings? Some businessmen wondered whether the extra $4-a-week in the average paycheck would really bolster their sales by much. Others worried that consumers might go on a spending binge, which could turn the orderly economic expansion into an "overheated boom" followed by an inevitable day of reckoning. Last week it became clear that consumers are indeed in creasing their spending, apparently just enough to give the economy a nice lift without producing too much heat.

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