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WASHINGTON — During a five-minute interview with Bloomberg Television, CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel said despite favorable retail sales in December, he still foresees slower consumer spending for 2007. During the interview, which aired Jan. 12, Hampel said he anticipates slow consumer spending for 2007 regardless of the strong December retail sales. The U. S. Commerce Department reported that December retail sales rose 0.9%. However, these figures were likely artificially inflated by year-end bonuses. With a slow housing market and high debt ratios, slow consumer spending will probably continue into 2007, Hampel said.

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