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Housing market improves, but job market sluggish

The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index rose from 3.27 to 3.53 percent in September, due to an 11 percent increase in home prices, though other areas remained weak.

Real income dropped 0.3 percent while spending was up just 0.1 percent from the previous month. While overall spending is up 2 percent from a year ago, growth in the past three months has been tepid.

“The sizable increase in home prices may overstate the strength of the real estate market, though on a positive note, the declines may be over and the market stabilizing,” said Carl Steidtmann, Deloitte’s chief economist and author of the monthly Index, in a press release.

Gas prices remained have remained high, though they usually decrease after summer ends. Job gains were also weak during the summer.

“The ups and downs in housing, employment and energy costs may have given consumers pause this past month,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte L.L.P. and retail and distribution sector leader in a press release. “As the holidays get into full swing, however, we anticipate shopper enthusiasm will be renewed.”

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