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The bulk of retail earnings reports haven’t been great, but the managing director of MLV and Company is confident on the sector. “In general, the numbers that were not so great in the retail sector over the last quarter was just a pause,” said Marino Marin. “We believe the retail sector, provided there are the right conditions, will grow again quite fast.”

Marin said a recovering housing market and moderate unemployment rate are increasing consumer confidence. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had declined in July, increased slightly in August.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, personal savings fell slightly in June compared to May, a hint of more spending.

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According to Marin, average household credit card debt is hovering around the same level as last year but is lower than in 2010. It stands at $15,263 from $15,257 in 2012 and $17,630 in 2010. Higher consumer spending puts the economy on a positive track, Marin said. However, he added, if wages and employment are improving at such a sluggish pace, this might be an indication that families are borrowing to make ends meet rather than a reflection of a well-founded increase in consumer confidence.

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