Housing prices have been a major driver in accelerated consumer spending over the past year, according to an index of consumer spending calculated by Deloitte Research. The pace of consumer spending has more than doubled in the past year, rising from 2 percent to over 4 percent, according to Deloitte Research's Leading Index of Consumer Spending. Deloitte is a professional services firm that offers audit, tax, financial advisory and consulting services. The index, a measure of tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices, rose to an all-time high of 5.72 percent in April, up from an upwardly revised gain of 5.56 percent in March and an upwardly revised gain of 5.11 percent in February. "While surging home values will fuel consumer spending for the next several months, including purchases of home-related items like furniture, consumer electronics and home improvements, rising gas prices may take the purchasing power of consumers away from retailer...
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