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Aug 29, 2011 8:46 AM by Kate Richards

Consumer spending up for first time in 20 months

WASHINGTON (AP) - Consumers rebounded in July to lift spending after the first decline in 20 months. The boost is likely to ease fears that the U.S. economy is on the verge of another recession.

The Commerce Department says consumer spending rose 0.8 percent in July. Personal income increased 0.3 percent last month, slightly higher than the modest 0.2 percent in June.

Economists hope that Americans will resume spending this fall and help the economy avoid another downturn. Consumer spending is important because it accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.

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