Still, consumers are more optimistic that the job market is healing and will deliver higher pay later this year, according to a survey of April consumer confidence released this week. And lower gas prices could offset some of the pinch from the tax increase.

The economy grew at an annual rate of 2.5 percent from January through March, the government said last week. That was an improvement from the anemic growth of 0.4 percent in the final three months of last year. Most economists expect growth will slow in the current quarter to 2 percent or lower.

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