Recession-battered consumers next year likely will continue their “newfound financial conservatism” with less spending and more emphasis on building their savings, Mintel Comperemedia says in a report released last week. The Chicago-based direct marketing-research company surveyed 2,000 U.S. adults online July 29 to Aug. 3, finding that 86% of respondents said they plan to be “more conservative” with their money. Some 75% of respondents said they also plan to be “more cautious” about borrowing. The survey findings parallel this week’s Federal Reserve Board of Governors Flow of Funds report showing that American are saving money and reducing their debt at levels far exceeding recent years, Mintel says. “Our recent consumer surveys point to a changed mindset for consumers,” Susan Menke, Mintel behavioral economist, said in a statement. “The recession left people feeling shaken and vulnerable, wary of previous years’ spending binges and craving a more conservative approach to money. We expect that thrifty, save-for-a-rainy-day mentality to continue next year.” The average consumer’s more-cautious mood presents opportunities for financial-services companies, Menke added. “As people look to save money and reduce debt next year, companies can benefit by gathering assets and building relationships with consumers,” she said.

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