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Harris Interactive Finds Consumer Spending Remains Level

October 4, 2010 By: Melanie Gretchen

Harris InteractiveIn an online poll conducted between September 14 and 20 among 2,620 adults within the United States, Harris Interactive found no change in consumer spending, reflecting no change in the state of the economy, the research firm concluded.

With a set of questions that have been posed seven times since the beginning of the economic crisis in 2008, the research found consumer spending to be unchanged since May 2009, including 28 percent expecting to have more money to spend the way they want, 17 percent reporting the likelihood to move to a new home and 21 percent expecting to buy new a new car or truck or computer.

Moreover, consumer expectations in Americans for the next six months are not expected not to change. The poll found that 52 percent said they expect to save or invest more money, about the same percentage who answered responded to all seven of the polls conducted over the last two years, which asked this question. About two-thirds reported they continue to say that they expect to spend less on eating out (66 percent) and entertainment (62 percent).

Consumers who expected to take a vacation away from home for a week or more in the next six months went from 36 percent last May to 31 percent. However, Harris noted that, as the number is close to the last year's 28 percent, the drop since May likely reflected the seasonal trend to take longer vacations in summer.

Three exceptions include an increase from seven to 10 percent of those who expect to buy a new house or condo. Respondents who expect to buy a boat or RV have increased from three to six percent. Also, 10 percent expect to start a new business compared to six percent who reported expecting to May.

Respondents for the survey were selected among those whose who agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to reflect the actual composition of the adult population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.


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