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A cracked-open and reassembled piggy bank rests on top of an electricity box in Lisbon, Portugal.
AP Photo/Armando Franca
A recent break-in?
DELAYED REACTION

Americans are finally saving less, and hopefully they’ll spend it soon

By Melvin Backman

When gas prices tumbled, American consumers unexpectedly socked away their savings at the pump instead of spending them elsewhere.

Now that gas prices are on the rise again, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis says the country’s savings rate, still high by recent standards, has declined for the first time since November.

It remains to be seen whether the reduction in savings reflects higher gas prices or rising consumer spending. But other indicators suggest that the jobs picture is brightening a bit lately, which should bode well for the US consumer sector.