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Consumer Spending Slows as Recovery Flattens

If you expected retail spending to pick up this summer vs. last, expect to be disappointed.

With restaurant owners and small retailers hanging on by threads all over the country, a new Gallup survey of consumers finds Americans are spending about $65 a day in stores, restaurants, gas stations and online. That's about the same as this time last year.

The results, announced this week, were for the week ending June 11.

"Consumers continue to spend in the 'new normal' range — not good news for retailers hoping for better things in the second half of 2010," according to a statement from Gallup.

Separately on Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Commerce released retail sales figures for June, which fell 0.5 percent compared to May. The dip was just 0.1 percent when a steep drop in auto sales was factored out, Forbes reports.

Analysts say it's not clear if the economy will move up, stay sideways, or go down again.

"Recoveries don't happen in a straight line," RBS economist Michelle Girard told Forbes, "what we've seen is some moderation in the last 3 months."