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More evidence of strong consumer spending

Car sales were up 20% in the 12 months ending April. This, in spite of the "cash for clunkers" program which presumably boosted sales in the third quarter of last year at the expense of future sales.

Separately, as Mark Perry notes, (see his post for details) restaurants enjoyed a huge boost in sales last March. Restaurant activity hasn't been this strong since September '07. I can add some anecdotal evidence to this: my wife and I went out for dinner last Saturday night, and were pleased to see that most restaurants in the area were full and there was lots of foot traffic in the downtown area.

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