Consumers have recently become more pessimistic about the U.S. economy, but, despite the financial crisis, most are sitting tight with investment, savings, banking and insurance arrangements.

Researchers at LIMRA International, Windsor, Conn., have published that finding in a summary of results from a recent survey.

“Even with the overwhelming news coverage of the current economic crisis, only 16% of consumers surveyed have taken any action with regard to their financial portfolios,” says Robert Baranoff, a senior vice president at LIMRA.

About 66% of consumers surveyed said economic conditions in the United States were “very unfavorable” in October, up from 49% in March.

During the same period, the number of consumers who predicted that conditions would improve within the next 12 months more than doubled, researchers found

Of those who said they took some action in response to the economy’s distress, measures taken ranged from reallocating funds within their retirement accounts to simply checking their account balances.

When asked how they plan to change their finances in the future, 52% plan to reduce debt; 41%, to delay making investments; 21%, to put off buying insurance; 12%, to reduce contributions to their retirement plans; 11%, to take money out of non-retirement savings and investments; and 5%, to cancel or reduce their insurance.

But the researchers found that 6% plan to respond to the slump by buying more insurance.

Only 15% of the consumers said they had consulted with a financial advisor during this economic crisis, but 66% of those who did so said they felt reassured. Most were advised to stay the course, researchers report.