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Most Americans now spending less amid COVID-19 crisis, survey shows

Shoppers wait to enter a Costco store in New York City on Tuesday. Lines at various stores nationwide have been longer since the start of the coronavirus crisis.  Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Shoppers wait to enter a Costco store in New York City on Tuesday. Lines at various stores nationwide have been longer since the start of the coronavirus crisis.  Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

May 6 (UPI) -- More Americans are now spending less each month than at any time since the Great Recession, a new Gallup survey showed Wednesday.

When asked about money habits compared to previous months, 51 percent said they're now spending less -- an increase from 32 percent last year. It's the highest figure since 2010, when 57 percent said they were spending less.

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More Americans are being careful with money as the coronavirus crisis has taken a toll on the global economy. More than 30 million adults in the United States have filed for unemployment over the last six weeks, according to the Labor Department, which will release new filing data on Thursday.

"The scope of the coronavirus economic downturn is just beginning to be realized, with new unemployment figures due this week after last week's report on economic growth," Gallup said.

The Commerce Department said last week the U.S. economy shrank by almost 5 percent during the first three months of the year, almost entirely due to the crisis.

"[That decline] was larger than economists predicted. Consumer spending accounts for roughly two-thirds of GDP, so the effect of the pullback in spending on economic growth is obvious," the pollster added.

Forty-five percent of Americans who make $40,000 or less and more than half of those making anything over $40,000 said their spending has gone down.

Gallup polled more than 1,000 U.S. adults for the survey, which has a margin of error of 4 points.

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Bass Pro Shops marketing manager David Smith (R) carries a box of donated face masks into Mercy Health in Chesterfield, Mo., on May 13. The company is donating 1 million FDA-approved ASTM Level 1 Procedure Face Masks to healthcare workers and first responders working on the front lines of the pandemic. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

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