NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Maybe it's the Vitamin D triumphing over seasonal-affective disorder or the heat inducing them to shed the weight of excess dollar bills, but consumers are spending this summer and feeling good about it.Americans are socking away more money, spending more spontaneously and being spooking less easily than they were six months ago, according to indicators released today by American Express ( AXP) and Consumer Reports. More than a quarter of both general and affluent consumers see the warm weather as a reason to splurge and, of those groups, 63% expect to spend more on summer outings this year, according to the American Express Spending and Saving Tracker. They also plan to have a few more margaritas and sangria pitchers -- 53% will eat more dinners out -- and 44% will update their summer whites, increasing seasonal apparel and accessory spending. Perhaps the best news is that 91% of consumers haven't regretted the purchases they've made so far this year, with one in five of all consumers saying they made a purchase during that period that they wouldn't have felt comfortable making six months ago. Consumer spending is already sunnier as a result. The Consumer Reports' Retail Index found per-capita purchasing up 14% to $274 this month from $234 in June. But while their American Express cohorts expected to travel, Consumer Reports spenders tended to be more pragmatic: Their purchases were in personal electronics and major appliances, with the latter increasing to 17% this month from 15% in June.
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