Three in five Americans’ say economic fears are rising

February 26th, 2009 - 4:02 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Feb.26 (ANI): A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that three out of every five Americans’ continue to suffer from financial insecurity and believe that the economic crisis is going to take a turn for the worse.

Two-thirds of those polled said they’ve cut back on their spending, including nearly a third who have pulled back “sharply.”

Americans across income groups said they are opening their wallets less often these days, with those with lower family incomes more likely to say they’ve sharply slashed their spending.

One-third said someone in their household has lost a job or had their pay or hours cut in recent months.

Also contributing to the new spate of penny-pinching are widespread concerns about how much longer the recession will last.

Overall, 70 percent of Americans anticipate a downturn lasting well into 2010 or longer; more than a third see it lasting two or more years.

Those who see an extended recession are more likely to say they’ve pared back their typical buying habits.

Fewer than half are optimistic about the economy’s prospects in the coming year and 56 percent now see the downturn as an indication of a deep, long-term slide, not a normal twist in the business cycle.

Nearly six in 10, or 57 percent, said the current economic situation is a cause of stress in their lives, including more than a quarter who label that anxiety “serious.”

Overall, about two-thirds said the recession has hit home, with job losses and pay cuts reaching far and wide. Three-quarters of respondents said a close friend, immediate family member or someone in their household has been impacted.

More than half of all workers are concerned they or another employed member of their household will see hours or pay cuts in the next few months; nearly half worry about job loss.

Among those in households that have already experienced such a setback, 82 percent fear further cuts in pay or hours or the loss of a job, the Washington Post reports. (ANI)

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