Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Dishwashers, microwaves, televisions the new luxury items

New party animal, H1N1 flu
Since when did dishwashers, microwave ovens and televisions become luxuries? Since the Great Recession took away their "standard equipment" status.

by Broderick Perkins
© 2008 DeadlineNews.Com
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Deadline Newsroom - Since when did dishwashers, microwave ovens, televisions become luxuries?

Since the Great Recession took away their "standard equipment" status.

Many items you expect to find in a 21st Century home are more and more often considered wants rather than needs and consumers are doing without them.

Recession-wary consumers say they are so financially strapped they are rationing their intake of consumer goods and services deemed just not necessary during hard times.

Pew Research's Social & Demographic Trends effects-of-the-recession survey of more than 1,000 adults from April 2 to April 8 this year discovered:

In 2006 36 percent of consumers said they had to have a dishwasher, today only 26 percent say they can't handle dishpan hands.

• In 2006, 68 percent of consumers said a microwave was necessary. Today, only 47 percent say they still need to nuke popcorn.

• Now, only 56 percent say television is necessary, down from 68 percent in 2006. The 56 percent is the smallest share of couch potato-ness in more than 35 years, according to Pew.

• Forced to go green and air dry clothes, only 66 percent of consumers say they need a close dryer, down from 83 percent in 2006.

• Fifty-four percent said they just had to have home air conditioning during the recent survey, compared to 70 percent in 2006.

Not surprising, according to a Harris Poll, more than two in five Americans are concerned that the household's main income earner may be unemployed before the year's out.

In yet another survey, IPSOS found consumers shunning new products, but gobbling up lower priced, store and generic brand items to save a few bucks.

IPSOS said 80 percent of the consumers surveyed were likely to switch to lower-priced brands or brands on sale, while 72 percent said they were stocking the pantry with store or generic brands.

Pew likewise found that because of the recession consumers:

• Bought less expensive or discount store brands (57 percent)
• Reduced or cancelled cable or satellite TV (24 percent)
• Started doing yard work or home repairs they once hired out (20 percent)

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© 2008 DeadlineNews.Com

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Broderick Perkins, an award-winning consumer journalist, parlayed 30 years of old-school journalism into a digital real estate news service, the San Jose, CA-based DeadlineNews Group, including DeadlineNews.Com, a real estate news and consulting service and Web site, and the Deadline Newsroom, DeadlineNews.Com's news back shop. Perkins is also a National Real Estate Examiner. All the news that really hits home from three locations -- that's location, location, location!

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