GCUA: Georgians remain reluctant to spend on big ticket items

Consumers in Georgia are reluctant to spend money on big ticket items, opting instead to squirrel away as much of their income as possible, new data and poll results from Georgia Credit Union Affiliates shows.

Concurrently, balances of credit union members’ savings accounts grew by more than 4.6 percent during the first three months of 2011 while credit card debt decreased by 4.2 percent, according to Georgia Credit Unions’ “Paying Attention.” The quarterly report compiles recent poll responses from more than 4,000 credit union members and aggregated data from credit unions statewide.

For example, 77.1 percent of respondents to the GCUA poll reported that they are keeping their vehicles longer in order to avoid the cost of a new or used automobile. At the same time, of the 13.2 percent who said they are planning to purchase a vehicle in 2011, only 16.4 percent indicated they were considering a new vehicle.

Similarly, when it comes to travel, only 20.9 percent plan to spend more on travel in 2011 than in 2010, while 37.8 percent plan to spend less, according to the GCUA poll. The numbers also reveal that 50.8 percent of respondents put off travel and/or vacation plans in 2010, while 51.5 percent said they spent less on travel in 2010 than they did a year earlier.

“It’s no surprise that Georgia consumers are still reluctant to get out there and spend given the continued economic uncertainty,” said Mike Mercer, president and CEO of GCUA. “Consumers are still working to save as much money as they realistically can and they’re making progress at reducing their debt load.”

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