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• The latest Retail Forward ShopperScape survey suggests that there may be a certain leveling off in consumer confidence, as people begin to believe that the worst of the recession has passed.

Still shopping patterns have changed and may continue to. Retail Forward notes that “concerns about how the recession will affect the household in the future (38%) ranked second to ‘my household’s current financial situation’ (44%) as the primary reasons why shoppers plan to spend less.” And, “more than one-quarter (27%) of shoppers planning to spend less indicate they are curbing spending in an effort to simplify their lifestyles. Affluent households ($100k+) are most likely to cite this reason for cutting spending. This could signal a shift toward more mindful purchasing among upper income households.”

• It apparently is time to start stockpiling guacamole.

There are reports that a little critter called the redbay ambrosia beetle is moving across the southeastern United States and seems aimed directly at Florida, where it is expected that it could spread a fungus called laurel wilt disease that could severely damage the state’s avocado trees.

Florida is the country’s second largest avocado producer, trailing California, which has not yet been hit by the fungus.

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