Tax refunds are going toward essentials this year


As tax day is almost here, analysts are eagerly waiting to see how refund checks will affect the economy. Unsurprisingly, a recent AP poll has revealed that average taxpayers won't be using their windfalls to boost the tourism economy. In fact, an impressive 54 percent of consumers are planning to use their tax refunds to pay bills. Almost a 20 percent increase over last year, the shifting numbers reflect a major change in priorities.

In 2008, seven percent of consumers claimed that they planned to spend their tax refund on food and clothing; this year, 17 percent will use their stimulus to buy necessities. Meanwhile 37 percent (as opposed to last year's 24 percent) will use their money to pay down debts. Others plan to cover utility bills or other necessities.