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Americans see a pickup, but spending plans lag

Americans believe the economy is improving but are not yet confident enough to increase their spending, a survey of consumer attitudes shows. Before a sustained recovery is seen in consumer sales, said Richard Curtin, director of the survey at the University of Michigan, the economy as a whole must show real improvement.

The latest survey of consumer attitudes by the U-M Institute for Social Research indicates Americans are more confident about the economy than they were a year ago.

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The second quarter 1981 surveys indicate that consumer sentiment was at a much improved level by mid-1981, compared with one year earlier, although little net improvement has been recorded during the past months.