Personal savings up as LIers keep tight grip on cash

Long Island shoppers are not opening their wallets, as consumer spending is down for the sixth straight month.While the lack of spending is feeding the already painful recession, there is a positive side to people having a tighter grip on their cash. The nation's personal savings rate in December was three times higher than it was for all of 2007. While credit card applications at the Bethpage Credit Union are down, low interest rates have sparked record business in refinancing of home mortgages. ?Two hundred fifty applications in one week alone, we were doing 150 applications in a month, six months ago,? said Kirk Kordeleski, of Bethpage Federal Credit Union.The cutbacks in consumer spending are deepening the recession, which is why the Obama administration is pressing Congress to quickly pass a massive economic stimulus program. For more with the CEO of Bethpage Federal Credit Union on increase in savings, go to channel 612 on your iO Digital Cable box.