Despite some hopeful signs of slight economic recovery, most Americans say they will eat out less and cut back on entertainment in 2012. A recent Harris Poll, as reported in the December 13, 2012, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, shows 61% of U.S. adults say they will likely spend less in restaurants, while 58% say they will curtail their entertainment budgets during the next six months.
In other areas where Americans are likely to spend less in the next half-year, the poll found 71% were likely to take vacations lasting no longer than a week; 97% unlikely to buy a boat or recreational vehicle; 88% will not buy or lease a new car; 77% will opt out of buying a new computer; and 74% had less money to spend on holiday gifts.This has been a steady trend for the past three years, according to Harris, which tracks Americans’ spending and savings habits. However, U.S. consumers do not necessarily plan to save or invest money. The poll indicates that only 51% say they are likely to do so, and 49% say they are unlikely. This is consistent over the last few years, with a November 2008 poll saying 49% would save or invest.
Americans continue to be less than optimistic about the economy, including employment prospects. Until they feel more comfortable, poll officials note, “Americans will likely continue to hold back on spending.” pf