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Recoved from Great Recession, consumers ready to spend

CR cq5dam.thumbnail.127.166The Great Recession of 2007 caused American shoppers, known for their spending, to go into a long scrimp mode.

Seven years later – and more than five years after the recession officially ended – the tide has turned, according to a Consumer Reports study.

A survey of 1,006 adult Americans conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center showed that people are now in the market for major purchases such as homes, cars, and appliances – and that they plan to spend even more money in the coming year.

So traumatizing was the Great Recession that many Americans put off purchases and personal decisions such as marriage and divorce. Seven out of 10 people told Consumer Reports that they feel fiscally stable enough to begin spending.

Other findings from the survey that point to shoppers’ improved outlook:
  • 64 percent said that they’d bought a major purchase in the past year.
  • 46 percent said they bought a new or used vehicle in the past year or intend to buy one in the coming year.
  • 12 percent said they’d bought a residence in the past year or intend to do so in the coming year.
  • 34 percent said they recently completed or are ready to do a major home-remodeling project.
  • 31 percent are holding fewer garage sales.
  • 30 percent are taking fewer odd jobs.
  • 26 percent of young Americans, aged 18-34, said they were ready to buy a new home.
  • 32 percent believe they can buy a car.

“Our survey shows that Americans are spending their money very pragmatically, and even though the employment picture has improved, many are working scared – scared about their future job stability and earnings outlook,” said Tod Marks, senior projects editor for Consumer Reports.”

The report features testimonials from consumers about their new spending habits. Additional information from the survey includes what Americans are most reluctant to cut back on – regardless of the economy, and the pricier items many people feel are still out of reach.

The report, “How America Shops Now,” is featured in the November 2014 issue of Consumer Reports magazine, which is available on newsstands, at ConsumerReports.org, and in libraries.

Copyright 2014, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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