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Tax rebates could boost spending in second half
NATIONWIDE DSN REPORT -- The second half of the year is here already, and soon retailers will get a read on whether forecasts of a second half consumer spending rebound are for real.
The likelihood of increased spending during the third and fourth quarters is something analysts began predicting .as far back as January, when most retailers' fiscal years were still winding down. Expectations of second half consumer spending increases and retail profit growth were supported by the belief interest rates would come down and a tax relief package would be approved. Easy comparison against the prior year's weak third and fourth quarters might even enable some retailers to beat earnings estimates.
The experts have been right on two counts so far. Interest rates have come down considerably. The quarter point interest rate reduction in late June was the sixth by the …