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Consumers warily favor US economic policies

By WITH ANALYSIS FROM MONITOR CORRESPONDENTS AROUND THE WORLD, EDITED BY HILARY DEVRIES / May 11, 1981



Ann Arbor, Mich.

Consumers are warily encouraged by the administration's economic policies but will not increase spending much this year, University of Michigan researches said. The U-M Institute for Social Research said in its 128th survey of consumer confidence that high interest rates and personal financial pressure continue to burden the attitude of the buying public.

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"Only slow gains in consumer sales can be expected in 1981," the researchers predicted, noting that attitudes toward the home-buying market were at a record low level.

The latest figures show overall consumer confidence dipped slightly from the last quarter of 1980 to the January-March period this year. A major contributor to the drop was reluctance to purchase big-ticket items such as cars and homes, the researchers said. But optimism for improved business conditions and moderating prices posted gains, easing the effect.