Shopping baskets emptying in Europe and the US
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Most adults in Europe's 5 largest countries and in the US believe their purchasing power has declined in recent years. As a result, they are spending less, a Harris Interactive / FRANCE 24 / International Herald Tribune poll has found.
A majority of people in the US and in the five largest European countries have seen their purchasing power decrease massively over the past 3 years, according to a new survey. Compounding the bad news, most believe their governments are failing in their efforts to tackle the problem.
French and Italian adults were most negative about the change in their purchasing power during the last three years, with resectively 88 percent and 90 percent noting a decrease, the survey found. Roughly one-third of Britons judged their purchasing power to have decreased.
The negative perceptions about purchashing power have led to a corresponding decline in consumption, the survey found, with leisure activities and cultural items worst affected.
They have also led Europeans and Americans to judge the measures of their respective governments to be unsatisfactory or very unsatisfactory, with dissatisfaction most pronounced among Germans.
Results are impressive: the decrease in purchasing power deplored by the European and American respondents resulted in a clear tendency to consume less. Yet, this tendency to consume less was particularly strong for French and Italians, noticeably less so for the British.
Among the expenditure categories most affected by a decrease in consumption were leisure activities and cultural items. Consumption of food products remained relatively stable.
* The latest poll was conducted online by Harris Interactive, in partnership with France 24 and The International Herald Tribune, among a total of 6,620 adults (aged 16-64) within France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain and the United-States; and adults (aged 18-64) in Italy, from 2nd to 14th July 2008. The data were weighted, where necessary, by age, gender, education, region and Internet usage to make it representative of the general population profile for each country. Propensity score weighting was applied to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
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