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Behind the Numbers
Posted at 05:00 PM ET, 02/25/2009

Post Poll: High Anxiety Act

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows Americans' feelings of financial insecurity have risen significantly since mid-September, as fears about making mortgage payments have spread and more now see the economy as in a long-term, serious decline.

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.

More from the new poll available here.

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Q. Have you been cutting back on your spending lately, spending at about your usual level, or spending more than usual? TOTAL CUT 67%

SOURCE: Washington Post-ABC News poll

By  |  05:00 PM ET, 02/25/2009

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