Pinching Pennies

September 27, 2013 Updated Apr 13, 2010 at 7:24 AM EDT

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September 27, 2013 Updated Apr 13, 2010 at 7:24 AM EDT

A new survey for M&T Bank shows that consumers top financial behaviors are: reducing debt and increasing savings. The national phone survey of 1,000 people found that 66 percent are cutting expenses and sticking to a monthly budget. 18 percent say they are paying off or refinancing debt, and 15 percent are saving more money in a 401k or IRA. Only 6 percent say they aren't taking measures to deal the economy. Only 5 percent say they are starting to make major purchases again.

For the second year in a row, Southwest airlines is the top-rated brand among small- and midsize-business owners and top executives in the U.S. American city Business Journals surveyed business owners. Other top brands in the survey: Apple Computer, United Parcel Service, Intuit, Apple iPhone, Adobe Systems, Federal Express, Microsoft, Dell and Sony.

Business First analyzed Sabres regular season data. Researchers say the Sabres need to score five goals a game once the playoffs start, and they'll be unstoppable. Buffalo reached five goals 16 times this season -- and won all 16 games. But when the Sabres scored two goals or less, they lost 29 games and won only nine.