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7/30/2008
03:57 PM
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Consumers Spend Less, Comparison Shop Online

The latest Consumer Behavior Report suggests prices at the pump are now a factor in how far shoppers will go to get that great deal.

Shoppers continue to cut back on spending, but many have turned to the Web to compare prices and find bargains, according to a Consumer Behavior Report.

PriceGrabber.com recently leased a report compiling results of three surveys polling a total of 7,170 online consumers. The report aims to uncover consumers' perceptions of the economy and changes in spending patterns. It found that 89% of consumers cut back on spending in June, compared with 56% in May.

It shows that consumers are taking several steps to cut back on spending. Most cost-cutting has occurred in retail and gas, according to PriceGrabber.

Thirty-three percent of consumers said they have cut their spending by comparison shopping online. Thirty percent said they had cut expenses by shopping at outlet stores.

Fifty-four percent said they tried to save money on gas by planning trips in advance and taking care of several errands at once. Ten percent said they work from home, and another 10% said they carpool or take public transportation to work.

Consumers cited two main reasons they have cut back on spending: an increase in prices (57%) and a general lack of confidence in the economy (25%).

Sixty-five percent of respondents said they put their economic stimulus check toward paying off debt. Thirty-five percent said they would put it in savings.

Thirty-three percent of consumers polled in April said the economy affected their decision about whether to save or spend their tax refund.

The findings are based on surveys taken from March 25 through June 30.

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