COLUMBUS, Ohio: Over 90% of US consumers think the economic downturn will have an impact on their lives in the next five years, with more than half saying they will spend more time considering purchases and become more price-sensitive, according to BIGresearch.

Consumer spending levels fell by 3.8% in the US in the final quarter of 2008, and the country's media and advertising revenues are both also expected to post overall declines this year.

A total of 90.7% of Americans believe the downturn will have an influence on their lives, according to BIGresearch's survey of over 8,000 people.

Some 55.2% of respondents said they will now "consider each purchase more carefully", while 50.7% argued they will be increasingly "price conscious" when buying items like food and clothing.

Over 40% of respondents will try and keep to an established budget, spend less eating out or on credit cards, while around a third plan to decrease their outlay on entertainment, and save more.

However, just 30% of consumers expect to be more "conservative" when buying a car, and only 29% will pay off their credit card bill each month.

In all, 49.7% of consumers expect the economy to "rebound" to the situation before the onset of the current crisis, compared with 21.9% predicting the opposite, and 28.4% who are unsure.

Gary Drenik, president/ceo of BIGresearch, says marketers must understand that "new" consumers focus "more on needs over wants, purchase price and an increased level of personal savings."

Data sourced from BIGresearch; additional content by WARC staff