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The percentage of consumers polled in September who said they had used credit cards within the previous month was down 23 points from a year earlier, according to a new report by Javelin Strategy & Research. In an online survey of a random sample of 2,339 panel participants, 64% said they had used a credit card in the previous 30 days, down from 87% who said so in a similar survey a year earlier. But spending was up on other tenders. Sixty-six percent of respondents in September said they had used a debit card in the previous month, up from 57% who said so a year earlier; 31% had used prepaid cards, up from 25%; 69% had used checks, up from 59%; and 95% had used cash, up from 89%. In April 2008, Javelin asked panel participants additional questions about their spending. Not surprisingly, 61% of respondents in September said they had decreased discretionary spending, up from 54% who said they did so in the April survey Thirty-two percent said they had decreased purchases of basic goods as well, up slightly from 31% who said they did in April. Javelin is based in Pleasanton, Calif.

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