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Americans Think Economy is Getting Worse


While the economy may be in recovery, Americans aren't buying it — literally.

Many say they expect the economy to get worse in the next year and, in preparation, they are cutting back in all areas of spending. That's the finding of a Harris Poll conducted by Harris Interactive last month.

One of the leading ways Americans are cutting back is by buying generic brands — and they are doing so at a higher rate than they were in February.

While conventional wisdom would suggest money-saving tactics would be on the decline, the Harris Poll found the opposite to be true. People cite cutting costs in June at a higher rate than they did during the last survey, in February. Here are some of the ways they are saving money:

  • Brown-bagging their lunch as a way to save money
  • Using refillable water bottles rather than purchasing bottles of water
  • Going to the hairstylist or barber less often
  • Canceled one or more magazine subscriptions to save money
  • Cut back on cable TV service
  • Canceled a newspaper subscription
  • Cut back on dry cleaning
  • Stopped purchasing coffee in the morning
  • Canceled their landline telephone service
  • Changed or canceled their cellphone service
  • Begun carpooling or using mass transit

Harris' interpretation of the findings is that while making more careful spending decisions may be good for a household budget, continual cutting back doesn't do much to help the overall economy grow

"It seems a balance will need to be reached to make Americans feel secure in their own household's finances as well as comfortable enough spending to allow the country's economy to grow once again," the company said in a prepared statement.


Jeanette Mulvey

Jeanette has been writing about business for more than 20 years. She has written about every kind of entrepreneur from hardware store owners to fashion designers. Previously she was a manager of internal communications for Home Depot. Her journalism career began in local newspapers. She has a degree in American Studies from Rutgers University. Follow her on Twitter @jeanettebnd.