Consumers give economy a boost before election

A flurry of data issued Thursday sketched a brightening view of the U.S. economy in the final days before the presidential election.

By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER Modified: November 2, 2012 at 2:34 am •  Published: November 2, 2012

WASHINGTON — A flurry of data issued Thursday sketched a brightening view of the U.S. economy.

Cheaper gasoline, rising home prices and lower unemployment have given consumers the confidence to spend more. Retailers, auto dealers and manufacturers are benefiting.

At the same time,...

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