Retail sales are rising as many mid- to high-income Americans opt to buy more expensive products than they would just a few months ago. Sales increased 6.5% in February over the same month in 2010. "This has been a long, drawn-out recovery; and for most people alive today, it’s the longest they’ve had to conserve financially,” says economist Russell Price. “As their prospects improve, some pent-up demand is being released."

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