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The PriceGrabber survey also shows shoppers desire big-ticket items.
52% of online consumers surveyed by PriceGrabber.com think the recession will end by January 2012, the online comparison shopping site said this week.
The findings are based on surveys conducted in February of 1,980 online consumers.
Respondents who identified themselves as either working full time or students expressed the most optimism about the end of the recession. 57% of respondents from urban areas think the recession will end by January 2012, with 44% of respondents from rural areas saying the same.
65% of consumers are spending less now than at the start of the recession in December 2007, PriceGrabber says, with 6% spending more. However, PriceGrabber says that behavior is starting to change since only 47% said they will continue to spend less than they did in December 2007 and 12% plan to spend more.
Meanwhile, 56% of respondents said they already have bought a big-ticket item this year. Popular big-ticket categories including portable fitness gear, car tires and loose diamonds. 24% of respondents plan to buy a big-ticket electronics product this year, while 16% plan to buy expensive home improvement items.
PriceGrabber.com is a unit of Experian PLC.