New Mexico State University
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LCSN: Lean times: Economy affects spending outlook for some

April 26, 2010. Retrieved online: April 26, 2010, from Brook Stockberger, Las Cruces Sun-News

Robert "Quail" White, 55, who is about to open Amador Body Shop, has an upbeat outlook on the economy. "We've seen the bottom (of the recession). We've taken a look at the bottom. There's only one way to go." (Sun-News photo by Norm Dettlaff)

Robert "Quail" White, 55, who is about to open Amador Body Shop, has an upbeat outlook on the economy. "We've seen the bottom (of the recession). We've taken a look at the bottom. There's only one way to go." (Sun-News photo by Norm Dettlaff)

LAS CRUCES — Quail White understands that the country is still reeling from its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. The 55-year-old Las Crucen is aware that unemployment has climbed in the Las Cruces area and many people, even those with jobs, have been scared by the recession into a practice of frugality.

Still, White has decided to open his own business.

“I don’t have an exit strategy; I don’t plan on leaving,” said White, who believes the economy is on the rebound. “We’ve taken a look at the bottom (of the economy) and there’s only one way to go.”

White, with the help of an investor, purchased Amador Auto Body at 2125 W. Amador Ave. While he is optimistic, he admitted that he and his wife, K.C., have also “tightened our belts.”

Have you tightened your belts as well? Do you plan menus, use coupons, order water instead of soda when you eat out, mend clothes instead of throwing them away, carpool to work?

A recent study conducted by Chicago-based consumer marketing firm Ogilvy & Mather found that, “Today’s consumer is emerging from the recession with a radically new definition of the American Dream and a renewed sense in their own resourcefulness and priorities.”

Nearly 8 in 10 people surveyed said the recession has altered their spending habits and made them re-evaluate how they use their money.

“We hope that peoples’ patterns of spending have changed,” said Tony Popp, head of the economics and international business department at New Mexico State University. “I’m hoping that, at least for a period of time, they will be a little more cautious.”

Graceann Bennett, director of strategic planning at Ogilvy & Mather believes people are weighing all of their purchases, big and small, but are not necessarily cutting back on everything.

Read the Las Cruces Sun-News article.