September 1, 2009 / 12:21 PM / 9 years ago

Downturn turns more people into homebodies: survey

SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - We’re all dining out less, staying at home more and making our own lunch more often, with a global survey showing almost everybody is getting by with less this year due to the economic downturn.

Frederick Wilson, (R), peels potatoes as his nephew, Javonte Miles, 10, (C) and granddaughter Keziah Bradley, 11 months, (L), play on the couch in the motel room where the family is living in Grand Prairie, Texas July 1, 2009. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

The survey, by market consultants GfK Roper, said 84 percent of consumers worldwide have cut back on something due to the recession, with Americans feeling they are the worst hit.

Globally, people are on average cutting back the most on restaurant meals, entertainment outside the home, clothing, holidays and buying lunch, GfK Roper’s first Global Consumer Recession Index showed.

The index was based on annual surveys with 30,000 people, aged 15 and over, in 25 countries. It ranked the impact of the economic climate on people’s emotions and lifestyles.

Recession was the biggest economic concern for the majority of respondents globally, with consumers in the United States, Taiwan, Canada, Korea, Britain, France and Australia feeling the most affected by the downturn.

Consumers in India, Japan, Russia, Argentina, South Africa and Argentina, however, said they were not so badly impacted, making it difficult to generalize the effect of the downturn, said Nick Chiarelli, GfK Roper’s director of consumer trends.

“What’s clear is that the global recession is not equally distributed,” Chiarelli said in a statement.

“To truly understand the impact of today’s economic environment, it’s vital to view this not as one blanket fiscal storm but rather as a series of localized recessions.”

Globally, more than two-thirds of respondents said they faced a negative event such as losing their job or having difficulty paying their bills in the past 12 months, with nearly eight in 10 Americans and Canadians — the highest in the world — saying they have suffered the worst.

As for how people are reacting to the recession, the majority globally said they were shopping more shrewdly for everyday items and increasingly using coupons to save money.

Writing by Miral Fahmy; Editing by Jerry Norton

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