WASHINGTON – CUNA and the Consumer Federation of America will release their fourth annual consumer survey on holiday spending plans and concern about debt levels on Tuesday, Nov. 25. The survey, which was conducted Nov. 13-16, studies consumer attitudes towards debt and indicates their holiday spending plans have changed significantly since last year. In addition to discussing the survey findings, CFA and CUNA representatives will also provide advice for managing holiday spending and credit card use this holiday season. CFA’s Steve Brobeck, executive director, and CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel, will discuss the survey’s findings. At press time, information about the study’s findings was not available, but given reports that the economy may be showing early signs of recovering, credit unions may hear that consumers are ready to loosen some of the restraint they showed in last year’s holiday spending. Among the findings of the 2002 survey (CU Times, Nov. 27), 61% said they planned on spending about the same as they did in 2001, but 21% said they planned to spend less and 15% said they planned to spend more. Consumers surveyed in 2002 also indicated they were more concerned about all non-mortgage debt payments (46%, up from 39%). The number who said they were not concerned or were neither concerned nor unconcerned dropped (44% from 48%, and 7% from 11%, respectively).

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