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US consumers are expected to spend 6.5 percent more this month and next than they did over the same period last year, a new survey indicated. The report by Deloitte & Touche and the National Retail Federation said this holiday shopping season would be the best in six years if those expectations are realized. Spending in November and December last year was up 5.9 percent from 1997. An annual "mood survey" of 1,000 consumers found respondents saying they expected their holiday spending to be about 4.3 percent higher than last year.

US factory orders for manufactured goods fell 0.9 percent in September, after a 1.3 percent rise in August, the Commerce Department reported. Many analysts had expected factory orders to fall by only 0.7 percent. September's was the first decline since a 1.4 percent decrease in April.

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Production of Plymouth-brand cars is to be eliminated, a senior DaimlerChrysler official said. Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said the company plans to phase out Breeze mid-size sedans, Neon small cars, Voyager minivans, and Prowler roadsters, starting in the second half of 2000. Sales of Plymouths in the US fell to 307,000 units last year. Production already has ceased in Canada.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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