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Markets Smell Recovery Gaining as Consumers Drive Retail Sales

American shoppers are set to become the economy’s new source of strength.

Economists lifted estimates for consumer purchases in the third quarter after retail sales climbed more than forecast in September and the government said gains in the prior two months were larger than previously reported. Predictions of a 3 percent or more increase by RBS Securities Inc. and 2.6 percent by Morgan Stanley would mean the most robust household spending of the recovery.