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Defying inflation, Americans ramped up spending last month

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Many Americans have taken a darker view of the economy as inflation has worsened. Yet so far, they appear no less willing to spend freely at retailers, an encouraging sign for the crucial holiday shopping season. Buoyed by solid hiring, healthy job gains and substantial savings stemming in part from government stimulus checks and other relief, Americans ramped up their spending at retail stores and online shops last month. Some of the increase reflected the impact of higher prices, and there were signs that Americans have started to seek out cheaper options. Yet the gain was solid enough for most economists to envision holiday shopping to jump by a record amount this year.

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