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Retailers are pumping still more energy this year into trying to get shoppers to loosen their purse strings early for Christmas with sparkly ornaments, holiday music and special prices -- in July.
If the generally accepted notion that the domestic economy is one fueled by the consumer, then I suspect more than a few cages were rattled this past week. What I am referring to is the rash of retail sales data out over the past several days, which reinforced the view that consumers continue to stretch their budgets amid high unemployment and a weak job market.