Behind Consumers' Growing Confidence

With gas prices down and the job market up, consumers are feeling better about the economy

For Nancy Lidel, a mother of four boys in Ann Arbor, Mich., the deal for a 42-inch flat-panel, high-definition Magnavox TV for less than $1,000 was just too good to pass up. She purchased one, and now she can't imagine how life was before high definition. "The best part is that my four boys don't complain about not going to the theater anymore," says Lidel. "After all, it costs over $50 if the whole family were to see a movie."

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