National

Sep 15, 2009 8:06 AM by Associated Press

Are consumers consuming?

Investors will get some insight Tuesday into how much consumers are spending when the Commerce Department reports on August retail sales. Jamie Cox, managing partner at Harris Financial Group, says Wall Street is intensely focused on whether people are "releasing some of those dollars they have been clinging so tightly to over the past year."

Analysts say investors need to see evidence that consumer spending is picking up before the market can extend its recent gains. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters estimate retail sales increased 1.2 percent last month, after falling 0.1 percent in July.

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