Americans are starting to pull back on travel and restaurants

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.

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Over the past several weeks, households had already cut back on big-ticket purchase 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 altogether, co-owner Keith Troyer said.

“It hasn’t been a massive drop off, but enough that it’s been noticeable,” Troyer said. “Quite a few clients have called saying, ‘Hey, my wife got laid off. We need to cancel,’ or ‘Can I switch from biweekly to monthly?’ Prior to this month, that’s something that hardly happened.”

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