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Consumers aren’t spending, and surging rent might be to blame

The cost of rent is on the rise again, pressuring Americans’ pocketbooks and crimping growth throughout the economy. Rent rose 3.9% compared to a year ago in June, the Labor Department said Friday. While that’s only a slight uptick from 3.8% annual gains in the past couple of months, the average annual increase in each month so far in 2017 put it on track to show the biggest gains since 2007. That’s a tough spot for U.S. consumers to be in, given that wages are growing less than half as quickly as rental costs. In fact, adjusted for inflation, wages were up a scant 0.8% in June.

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