Flush cards

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The Independent Online
FURTHER proof of green shoots of recovery came in America, where consumers went on a credit card spending spree in the run-up to Christmas, with the main card issuers reporting a big jump in purchases compared with 1991.

Mastercard led the way with a 23.4 per cent leap in purchases for the period from November 27, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday, to Christmas Eve, with dollars 10.4bn charged on its cards.

Retailers have also experienced a rebound in consumer confidence: Tiffany & Co, the jeweller, reports a 15 per cent increase in sales for its US stores compared with last year's holiday season.