SOURCE: BIGresearch

May 01, 2008 12:07 ET

Consumers Continue to Cut Back on Discretionary Spending

Price of Gas, Groceries, Home Heating and Taxes Impacting Budgets

COLUMBUS, OH--(Marketwire - May 1, 2008) - Thunderstorms remain on the radar for the U.S. economy and consumers continue to feel the pinch. According to the latest American Pulse™ Survey of 4,055 respondents, 61.7% are dining out less, 57.3% are driving less, 47.4% are attending fewer movies, 46.1% are forgoing department stores for discount retailers and 45.3% are cutting back on their vacation budget to cope with the current economic environment.

What is impacting consumer budgets the most (percent of those saying "very much")?

--  67.9% say gas prices
--  47.2% say groceries
--  46.8% say home heating and cooling costs
--  36.1% say taxes
    

One way consumers appear to be coping with pressures on the family budget is by learning a new shopping skill -- haggling for price. According to the survey, half of Americans (50.3%) report having negotiated for better prices on products other than a home or vehicle in light of the current economic situation. Americans say they haggle the most for better costs on tires/batteries/auto repair (38.6%), followed by appliances (37.3%) and electronics (37.2%).

On a lighter note, honesty still prevails even in uncertain times, as 58.3% of Americans say they would return $100,000 if they found it on the street. And Americans still can dream: men would play baseball in the Olympics and women would pick figure skating if they could compete in any sport, regardless of talent.

To view a complete report or to submit a question for future surveys: http://americanpulse.bigresearch.com.

About American Pulse™

The American Pulse™ Survey is collected online by BIGresearch every month exclusively utilizing Survey Sampling International's (SSI) U.S. panel covering topics such as politics, pop culture and the economy. Over 4,000 respondents participate, providing greater insights into how Americans really feel about issues they currently face. http://www.bigresearch.com

About Survey Sampling International (SSI)

Survey Sampling International is the premier global provider of sampling solutions. Founded in 1977, SSI offers access to consumer and business-to-business respondents via Internet, telephone, mobile and other means; survey programming and hosting; and sampling consultation. SSI is the supplier of choice for more than 1,800 companies, including 46 of the top 50 marketing research agencies. Headquartered in Fairfield, CT, SSI maintains offices throughout North America, Europe and Asia. http://www.surveysampling.com

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