Senior Economist David Littmann told The Detroit News that recent mild weather could have both positive and negative impacts on the economy.

People could “get a whole lot more confident” as spending increases at places such as golf courses and home improvement stores.

“More spending, early, does have a reinforcement effect that could move activity for the whole year,” Littmann said. “But likely that would end up coming at the expense of 2013.”

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Littmann said the early spring sales “will essentially be redistributed within the year,” and compared the situation to sales incentives on vehicles that only move sales ahead, rather than increase them overall.

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