WASHINGTON, April 25 (UPI) -- Nearly two in three Americans prefer saving money over spending it, according to a Gallup poll.
The gap is the widest since Gallup first asked the question in 2001.
In three Gallup polls before the 2008 financial crisis, an average of 49 percent of U.S. adults said they preferred saving. The average has jumped to 60 percent in nine polls since then.
The most recent Gallup Economy and Personal Finance poll conducted April 6-10 showed 65 percent preferring saving.
The question does not measure actual spending and saving. Instead, it measures Americans' preferences.
The Economy and Personal Finance survey for April also asked Americans if they have been spending more or spending less "in recent months." Each of the nine times since 2009 that Gallup has polled on the subject, Americans have been more likely to say they have been spending less in recent months than to say they have been spending more. In the current poll, 38 percent say they are spending less and 28 percent spending more, with the rest saying their spending has not changed.
The poll also shows those who are spending more tend to think this is temporary and those who are spending less are more likely to think it will be permanent. Seventeen percent of Americans say they are spending more and that the change is temporary; 11 percent say they are spending more and that it will become a new, normal pattern. Twenty-nine percent say they are spending less, and that the change will become a new, normal pattern; 9 percent say they are temporarily spending less.
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,015 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The margin of error was 4 percentage points.