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Three-fourths of Americans surveyed say economy has not hit bottom

August 31, 2011 |  7:00 am

Coupons The economy has consumers feeling so pessimistic that they’re clipping coupons, accepting undesirable jobs and wringing their hands over the high cost of food and gas.

Nearly three-fourths of Americans think the economy has yet to hit bottom, according to a Citibank survey conducted by Hart Research Associates. And compared with 2008, 44% of consumers said they feel less financially secure now.

The state of their local economy is fair or poor, according to 77% of respondents. The 41% of people expecting business conditions to improve in their area over the next year represents a 22-percentage-point slump since January. A whopping 85% showed little confidence in nearby employment opportunities.

In such a precarious environment, working for a small business or the state or local government is rarely viewed as a safe bet. Nearly one-third of Americans say working for yourself is the best bet to staying financially secure.

The majority of consumers reported cutting back on premium coffee and food brands and clipping coupons. Three in 10 said they’ve altered their living situation to save money. About one-fourth have postponed retirement or are working jobs they would have shunned in better times.

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Consumer confidence in the economy plunges

Shaky economy? Tell that to the high rollers at Tiffany & Co.

-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo: Katie Busker, 30, clips coupons as her son, Austin Spiker, 6, plays with Legos at the dinner table in Independence, Iowa. Credit: Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters

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