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FedEx chief sees U.S. slowdown, not steep decline

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Higher fuel prices have "clearly cut into the ability of the American consumer, particularly the paycheck-to-paycheck consumer, to buy products in this country," FedEx Chief Executive Frederick Smith said in an interview on Fox News Sunday.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The chief executive of package delivery company FedEx Corp <FDX.N> said on Sunday that although the U.S. economy has slowed down, he does not think it will go into a "precipitous decline."

Higher fuel prices have "clearly cut into the ability of the American consumer, particularly the paycheck-to-paycheck consumer, to buy products in this country," FedEx Chief Executive Frederick Smith said in an interview on Fox News Sunday.

"So the economy is slower, but I don't think that it's going to go into some precipitous decline," Smith said.

In addition, Smith cited downturns in housing and auto sales as factors in the U.S. slowdown. He said FedEx has seen "robust growth" in other parts of the world.

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(Reporting by Peter Kaplan; Editing by Jan Paschal )