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Americans will spend some of their Social Security tax cut and are more upbeat about their local economies, according to 1,007 Americans polled in the RBC Consumer Outlook Index released on Jan. 6. Forty-two percent said they plan to spend all or most of the one-year Social Security payroll tax cut that became effective on Jan. 1, 2011. Just 26% said they plan to save all of the money. Some 47% of respondents said their local economy is weak, down from 51% in December and 59% in September 2010. But they had a gloomier picture of the country as a whole, with 64% saying the country is on "the wrong track," up from 61% in December. It was the ninth consecutive month that 60% or more of the respondents were negative about the country's direction.

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