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Consumer Spending on the Rise | News

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Consumer Spending on the Rise
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LAS VEGAS -- Consumers are starting to spend a little more. For the third straight month, retail sales are on the rise nationwide, and the trend is being seen in Las Vegas. Experts says there's still a long way to go in turning around the economy.

Shoppers spent more than $367 billion at retailers in September, marking the third straight month of increased sales. Jeremy Aguero with Applied Analysis says it's a step in the right direction.

"What it is, is a reflection of is that consumers are starting to spend again. They're starting to be a little more optimistic about the future and that's being reflected in their spending patterns," he said.

Sales increased only a small percentage from August, but we saw a more than 7-percent increase from September of last year. Auto sales continue to drive the numbers, fueled by new 2011 models making their way to dealerships.

Hardware and furniture sales are also up thanks to the home buyer tax credit earlier this year. Foreclosures also drive sales as owners fix up their properties.

"The budgets aren't what they use to be, but they still want to sleep in a comfortable bed, they still want their homes to look nice and still want to relax and watch TV at home at night," said RC Willey General Manager Brad Miller.

Miller says customers are still shopping, but are now looking for deals to stretch their dollars.

"They're buying the items that are a lot more value conscious. They're making sure that they're getting the most for their money," he said.

But Aguero says there's still a long way to go before a full recovery.

"I'm surely not going to expect every month is going to be gains, but the fact that we got three in a row, is something to be impressed by," he said.

Aguero says a good sign for Las Vegas, is visitor volume continues to rise but aren't spending as much. He says visitors and residents will have to spend a little more in order for Las Vegas to fully recover.

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