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Consumers Scaling Back

As the economy worsens, more Americans are staying home and watching television, a survey finds.
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In response to the souring economy, consumers are changing their shopping, eating, and travel habits, according to Booz & Company.

More than 40 percent of the nearly 1,000 consumers surveyed said they were eating out less compared to six months ago, the New York-based management consulting firm reported this week. Consumers are also staying home more often, with 26 percent of respondents saying they went to fewer shows and 28 percent saying they cut back on vacation plans.

As a result, more than a quarter said they now spend more time watching TV and surfing the Internet.

About two thirds of respondents said they felt the economy would worsen over the next six months, the report said.

"Increasingly, consumers are spending less and stretching their dollars further," Paul Leinwand, a vice president at the firm, said in a statement. "Consumers are learning new spending behaviors, and in some cases these more prudent choices will become long-term habits."

The survey found some habits are proving harder to shake. While more than a third of respondents said they were driving less to save fuel costs, less than ten percent said they now take public transportation more often and only seven percent more said they are carpooling to work.

Last updated: Oct 16, 2008




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