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Most Americans plan to cut spending on dining, entertainment, homes

December 14, 2011 | 10:36 am

The next few months are going to be low key for consumers, more than half of whom plan to spend less on restaurants and entertainment while forgoing long vacations and major purchases, according to a new report.

Out of nearly 2,500 adults, 51% said they plan to take their money and save or invest it, according to a poll from Harris Interactive. That means 61% of consumers will be spending less on restaurants while 58% will cut back on entertainment expenses, though that’s slightly less than the percentage that said the same last year.

But fewer people -– 26% compared with 30% in 2010 -– say they have enough money to blow it the way they want. 

Buying a home is a nonstarter for 93% of respondents; 86% of people said they don’t even plan to move in the next half a year. And 88% won’t buy or lease a new car, truck or van while 97% won’t spring for a boat or recreational vehicle. 

In the thick of the holiday season, 77% said they won’t pick up a new computer, while 71% don’t intend to take a vacation that lasts longer than a week.

By now, it's not a new refrain: Harris researchers blame the high unemployment rate and the fluctuating economy for consumer belt-tightening.

“As it stands now, the cycle of bad feelings and decreased spending does not look like it’s positioned to change anytime soon,” the report said. 


Americans feel more confident, but should they?

Holidays have consumers feeling better, still cynical, poll finds

-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo: Carolina Ahumada and her daughter Nicole Gonzalez carry bags on Black Friday at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times