From the March-20, 2002 issue of Credit Union Times Magazine • Subscribe!
Survey finds terrorism makes consumers tighten their purse strings
<p>WASHINGTON-According to a study conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation International for the Consumer Federation of America and Bank of America, the terrorist attacks of September 11 made consumers think twice about where they put their money. The survey of more than 1,000 people took place February 14-17 and found that following September 11, Americans were more likely to pay down their debt and save for a rainy day. The survey revealed that 33% of consumers were more interested in personal savings post-September 11 than before, while 9% said they were less interested and 57% felt the same. Twenty-five percent were more interested in paying down debt than before, 13% said they were less interested, but the majority, 61%, said their attitudes had not changed. The biggest changes were in luxury and lottery ticket purchases. Just 6% and 5% said they were more interested in purchasing luxury items or lottery tickets, respectively. Thirty-six percent and 29% were less interested in buying luxury items and lottery tickets. Fifty-four percent of respondents said they felt the same about purchasing luxury items, while 56% said their thoughts on lottery ticket purchases did not change. Surprisingly, the study also demonstrated that Americans are less worried about the security and adequacy of their income than they were a year ago, despite 9-11, the economic downturn and the Enron debacle. The same goes for the amount of debt they carry and the adequacy of their personal savings.</p>