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Consumer Confidential: Spending, bling and T-Day

Here's your wistfully Wednesday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

-- Just in time for Black Friday, the Commerce Department says consumers are feeling a whole lot better about, well, consuming. Consumer spending rose 0.7% last month, which might not sound like much, but when you're coming out of a nasty recession, it's pretty darned good. In fact, it was the best showing since the cash-for-clunkers program went adios a few months ago. Not coincidentally, incomes were up for a second straight month.

-- And you'll need every penny of that income, at least if you're in the market for some serious bling. In perhaps the most upbeat economic indicator to come down the pike in a while, Tiffany & Co. has raised its profit outlook for the year, suggesting that sales of high-end goods are picking up and that the wheels of economic recovery are spinning more vigorously.

-- At least you'll save a buck or two on Thanksgiving dinner. The American Farm Bureau Federation says the average cost of a Thanksgiving Day feast this year is $42.91, down $1.70 from last year. The bureau's calculation is based on a meal that includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream and beverages of coffee and milk -- and enough chow to feed a family of 10.

-- David Lazarus

 
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