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    Charleston, SC, May 10, 2010... Everyone wants the U.S. economy to roar back to solid growth, but are consumers behind a sustained surge? C. Britt Beemer CEO and Founder of America's Research Group (ARG) says a resounding "no", pointing to the responses from hesitant, budget conscious, and unenthusiastic heads of American families who were questioned in early May for a new Consumer Mind Reader(tm) survey by ARG and UBS.

    "Families have little disposable income today," says Beemer, "and every day brings new problems that raise doubts and fears about the economy and their financial futures."

    Despite that positive fact that retail sales are improving over last year, heads of families are extremely cautious in their shopping decisions. Here are some of the indicators from the survey that point to slow growth rather than the surge of consumer optimism needed for a strong recovery:
    • Over sixty percent of consumers (60.8%) say they shop only when they need something,
    • Only 39.2% can afford to shop for fun, down from 68% ten years ago,
    • Only 12.1% of shoppers are using their credit cards for purchases as they don't want to add more to their credit card debt,
    • Significant numbers describe themselves as only buying necessities (30.6%) and buying only on sale (23.4%),
    • Employment worries remain high so that most Americans now expect to work three to seven years longer than just four years ago, at age 68 or older for some, by age 65 to 67 for others,
    • Although the majority don't expect layoffs, only 59.5% are excited about any job prospects, meaning that new hires are down the road,
    • Only 25.9% of family heads are seeing overtime at their place of work,
    • For the 20.9% who say their debts are a big problem, the future doesn't seem so rosy and only 32.5% say debt is not a problem.
    "Until job prospects improve considerably, consumers will continue their unenthusiastic shopping behavior," Beemer says.

    The ARG/UBS Consumer Mind Reader Survey consisted of 1,000 telephone interviews conducted Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, May 1 to 4, 2010, at ARG headquarters in Charleston, SC. The error factor is plus or minus 3.8%.

    America's Research Group, one of the nation's foremost consumer research and strategic marketing firms, marked its 30th anniversary in 2009. CEO Britt Beemer is a key resource and advisor to leading brands and top retailers. He is author of The Customer Rules, published by McGraw-Hill.

    UBS Global Equity Research provides the broad global perspective and in-depth analysis that institutional investors need to make good investment decisions. With more than 600 analysts, associates, strategists and economists in EMEA, APAC and the Americas, UBS covers approximately 85% of the world market capitalization - over 3,300 companies worldwide across 46 different markets. In addition to UBS's disciplined fundamental research, clients also rely on UBS for corporate and expert access to give them the insight they need, when they need it.

    Barbara Burns (212) 486-1140