Wealthiest consumers still unwilling to spend
Appeals to patriotism might encourage renewed spending, poll finds
Americans of all ages are still keeping their wallets tightly clamped despite economists' predictions of revival, according to a joint poll by AdweekMedia, a conglomerate of publications and websites, and Harris Interactive, a market research group.
During the past year, 79 percent of consumers lowered their budgets due to the floundering economy. Over the course of the year, only 4 percent have resumed spending as normal. Even those earning over $75,000 annually haven't returned to old habits, with only 6 percent spending as much as before. Young adults, aged 18 to 34, have increased their expenditures more than any other demographic, though the majority are not spending as much as they did last year.
Of those who cut spending, 76 percent have not increased expenditures in any way. Adults from ages 35 to 44 were most loyal to their budgets, with 84 percent still holding tight. "While most economists are starting to say the economy is turning around or that the recession is coming to a close, consumers may not be of the same mind," concluded the Harris Interactive poll.
What might overcome the reluctance to spend? The poll determined that appeals to patriotism were most likely to do the trick.
Other information highlighted in the report:
- Only 24 percent of Americans who cut spending have increased spending.
- Twenty-four percent of adults ages 18 to 34 did not make any cuts at all.
- Seventy percent of those with the midlevel incomes, ranging from above $35,000 to less than $75,000, said they "made a lot of cuts" to their budgets during the past year.
- Joint bank accounts can help couples curb frivolous spending – A new study suggests pooling your money into a joint account with your significant other can nudge both of you into spending more responsibly ...
- Poll: No end in sight for 2 out of 3 U.S. adults with debt – Many Americans don't know when or if they'll ever get out of debt, according to a new CreditCards.com poll. That includes 25 percent of people who have debt and think they'll die before paying it off ...
- Credit card debt weighs heavy on Southern states – A new analysis by CreditCards.com found New Mexico carries the heftiest debt load in the nation. And Southern states took nine of the top 10 spots for states most burdened by debt ...