Just when consumers were feeling a little sunnier about their financial future, the economic skies began to cloud up once more. 
 Impacted by high gas and food prices as well as lackluster job growth, the American consumer has lost its sense of optimism again, which is dragging down restaurant visits and spending, say officials at global market research firm The NPD Group
. According to Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD, after eight quarters of decline, restaurant-industry traffic rose ...

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