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The Boston Globe

Business

Varied data suggest the economy is healing

But fiscal cliff is still a potentially major threat

WASHINGTON — Consumers are growing more confident about the job market, companies are ordering more equipment, and home prices are rising in most major cities.

The latest government data suggest the economy is improving as the holiday shopping season begins. The main threat is a package of huge spending cuts and tax increases, known as the fiscal cliff, that will kick in unless Congress strikes a budget deal by year’s end.

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