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PLANO, Texas — A glimmer of hope inched into economic news recently as Brian Turner, director of advisory services for Southwest Corporate Invest-ment Services reported that first quarter economic growth rose at a 0.9% pace. Turner called it “an encouraging sign during a time when pockets of the housing market continued to struggle and higher food and energy prices impacted disposable income.”

It’s better than the 0.6% pace reported in the fourth quarter of 2007. Consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of the nation’s GDP, increased at just a 1.0% pace in the first quarter–the slowest since the 2001 recession, he said.

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