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By MARTIN CRUTSINGER
AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON, DC (AP) — Americans increased their spending sharply in December and consumer purchases for all of 2010 rose at the fastest pace in three years.

The Commerce Department says consumer spending rose 0.7 percent in December, matching the October gain. Households saw their incomes rise 0.4 percent, the same as November.

For all of 2010, consumers boosted spending 3.5 percent. That was the best performance since a 5.2 percent rise in 2007, before the recession began.

Economists expect further gains this year that will give the economy a boost.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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