Industry News | June 4, 2009

More Americans Say They Will Eat Out and Spend on Entertainment

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While majorities are still inclined to decrease spending on eating out and entertainment, the numbers are better than they had been two months ago. In March, three-quarters of Americans said they were decreasing spending on eating out (74 percent) and entertainment (74 percent). Now, two-thirds say they are reducing eating out at restaurants (66 percent) and 64 percent say they have reduced spending on entertainment.

These are some of the results from The Harris Poll®, a new study of 2,681 U.S. adults surveyed online between May 11 and 18, 2009 by Harris Interactive®.

Americans are cutting back on their spending over the next six months. Specifically:

* Similar to last month, two-thirds of Americans (64 percent) say it is not likely they will take a vacation away from home lasting longer than a week while 36 percent say it is likely they will vacation away from home. In March, 35 percent of Americans said they would be likely to take a trip;

* Large purchases continue to suffer as more than three-quarters of Americans say it is not likely they will buy a new computer (79 percent), move to a different residence (81 percent), buy or lease a new car, truck or van (88 percent), purchase a house or condo (91 percent), start a new business (92 percent) or buy a boat or recreational vehicle (95 percent). These numbers are all very similar to March so people are still not ready to spend on the big-ticket items;

* One quarter of Americans (26 percent) say it is likely they will have more money to spend the way they want in the next six months which is up from 21 percent in March; and,

* People are slightly more likely to say that they are going to be saving or investing more money. Just over half of Americans (53 percent) say they are likely to save or invest more money while 47 percent are not likely to do so. In March, Americans were split on this as 50 percent said they were likely to save or invest and 50 percent said they were not likely to do so.

As people get ready for summer vacations, it seems as if the trips might be getting shorter and closer to home—more “daycations” and “staycations”. But, even if summer vacations may be changing this year, there are small signs that things may be getting better, at least in terms of spending. More people are eating out and spending money on entertainment, something that the studios for the big summer blockbusters will be happy to hear, but the big ticket items are still not seeing any type of rebound. Those may take a little longer to see the slight recovery that the smaller expenses are seeing.

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