Survey: Americans Reclassifying Luxury, Necessity in Recession

Publication: USA Today

Author: Sharon Jayson

04/23/2009 - A few years back, the list of "gotta-haves" for many Americans included a car, TV, microwave, home air conditioning and dishwasher.

Now, not so much.

Pew Research Center survey released Thursday finds that the recession has changed Americans' minds about many items that used to seen as necessities.

In a 2006 Pew survey of luxuries and necessities, 68% said a microwave was a necessity; now that's 47%. And 52% say a TV is a necessity today, down from 64% in 2006.

"Societal conditions have changed," says James Burroughs, associate professor of commerce at the University of Virginia-Charlottesville. "In many ways, luxuries are things that are learned in response to a changing environment."

Read the full article Americans Reclassifying Luxury, Necessity in Recession on USA Today's Web site.

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