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More Americans are beginning to hold off on booking flights, getting haircuts, building backyard pools and replacing old leaky roofs — in some of the new signs that the consumer engine of U.S. economic growth could be losing steam.
Over the past several weeks, households had already cut back on big-ticket purchases because of soaring prices, but in a worrisome twist, data suggests consumers are also beginning to tap the brakes on dining out, vacation plans and even routine services like manicures, hair cuts and home-cleaning appointments. Business owners around the country say rising prices, dwindling savings and concerns of a souring economy are taking a toll on household spending decisions.
At Olentangy Maids in Columbus, Ohio, more customers are putting off or canceling home-cleaning appointments. Some regulars are trying to negotiate lower prices, while others have stopped tipping…