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Mass-affluent consumers have not changed their payment behaviors that much, despite the recession, suggest research from Chicago-based Mintel Comperemedia. A Mintel study of 1,000 consumers with incomes of $100,000 to $1 million found that 11% of participants previously paid credit card balances in full each month but now do not, while 11% now make smaller monthly payments. Overall, these numbers are not that high, suggesting that the mass-affluent segment is not responding to the drop in the economy, says Susan Menke, Mintel senior financial services analyst. Only 50% of respondents said they have cut down or deferred spending because of the economy, she notes. "I'm surprised it's not higher," Menke says, noting denial of being affected by the recession likely is the reason for the lack of change in their payment behaviors.

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