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VISA GOLD SURVEY FINDS SOME CONSUMER VALUES IN THE "NO NONSENSE" '90s ECHO THOSE OF THE "GO-GO" '80s

 VISA GOLD SURVEY FINDS SOME CONSUMER VALUES
 IN THE "NO NONSENSE" '90s ECHO THOSE OF THE "GO-GO" '80s
 SAN FRANCISCO, June 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The conspicuous consumption of the "go-go" Eighties may be on the wane, but consumer values in today's "back-to-basics" Nineties may not be as profoundly different as claimed in studies on the decade, according to a new survey sponsored by the Visa Gold card.
 The findings of a national survey, which was conducted by The Gallup Organization Inc. and designed to measure how consumer values have changed in the past five years, revealed that Americans' preoccupation with work and fitness may be as much a hallmark of the '90s as it was of the '80s, unlike some media reports have indicated. Forty-four percent of respondents said they are working more hours today than they did five years ago. Nearly half (49 percent) of respondents reported spending more time on health and fitness, and 37 percent of respondents said they were maintaining the same spending levels on fitness.
 Further, despite reports that Americans are displaying a strong commitment to volunteer work, less than one third of all respondents (27 percent) reported spending more time in this area. The largest portion of those surveyed (39 percent) reported spending the same amount of time on philanthropic activities as they did five years ago, with 33 percent indicating that they now spend less time.
 "Popular perceptions have led us to believe that the '90s would usher in a tide of change in consumer values, but these findings, as well as separate research conducted among Visa Gold cardholders, contradict this belief," said Anne Kortlander, vice president and director of product management for Visa U.S.A. "One explanation is that the recession may have led Americans to increase their focus on work, and the aging of the baby boomers may account for the amount of time spent on health and fitness."
 The survey found that Americans are more concerned today with national events than they were five years ago, more than half of all respondents (57 percent) reported spending more time keeping abreast of politics than they did five years ago. This was particularly true among higher income respondents aged 35 to 54.
 "While this finding is not surprising in an election year, it may also support the claim that Americans are dissatisfied with the political process," said Robert L. Nielsen, senior vice president and managing director, western region, of The Gallup Organization Inc. Findings You'd Expect For the '90s
 More than 60 percent of respondents predictably reported that their purchasing decisions are more influenced now by price and quality than five years ago. Also, two out of five respondents reported that trends and styles have less influence on their purchasing decisions.
 In another finding, nearly half of all those surveyed (48 percent) said they are spending more time with their family and friends than they did five years ago. Also, 43 percent of those surveyed reported spending a larger percentage of take-home pay on family activities. This was most evident among male respondents, those with higher incomes ($65,000 or more), and respondents from the North Central region of the nation, including the states of Indiana, Illinois and Michigan.
 On the subject of travel and entertainment, ratings for the amount of time spent vacationing in the United States and entertaining at home remained the same. Overall, the percentage of take-home pay spent on personal travel among respondents was slightly down compared to five years ago. Forty-one percent of those surveyed said they are now spending a smaller amount of their income on personal travel, while 30 percent said they are spending the same percentage and 29 percent said they are spending a larger percentage.
 "Looked at another way, this data suggests that Americans still place a premium on leisure activities, but perhaps on more practical and family-oriented ones than they did in the '80s," said Kortlander. Savings
 Reflecting Americans' concern with the economy, the survey confirmed that saving money is a priority in the '90s, as more than half of all respondents (53 percent) reported being more concerned today with saving money for their future than they were five years ago. This was primarily evident among female respondents and those with a college education.
 When asked to explain why saving money is a greater priority today than it was in the late '80s, the largest portion of respondents (32 percent) reported that it was because they were getting older and approaching retirement. Seventeen percent said it was due to the economy, and 9 percent attributed it to family concerns.
 The national survey of consumer values, which was conducted in May 1992 for the Visa Gold card by The Gallup Organization Inc., involved telephone interviews with 1,009 people drawn from various regions, income levels and education. Sample members were evenly split among males and females, with 50 percent representing each gender. (At the 95 percent confidence level, the maximum expected error range for a sample of 1,000 respondents is plus or minus 3.1 percent.)
 Visa, with more than 9.5 million acceptance locations and 281 million cards issued, including 142 million in the United States, is the world's largest consumer card payment system.
 -0- 6/9/92
 /CONTACT: Debbe Stern of Visa U.S.A., 415-570-3510/ CO: Visa U.S.A. ST: California IN: FIN SU:


MC -- SF001 -- 8290 06/09/92 10:30 EDT
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Date:Jun 9, 1992
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