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Piper Jaffray (NYSE: PJC) has completed its 21st semi-annual "Taking Stock With Teens" survey, which indicates a clear bias toward value brands and, with indications of improving employment, the potential for a recovery in fashion discretionary spending.

"Our survey results continue to reflect stabilization in spending at the upper-income level," said Jeff Klinefelter, director of research and senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray. "Significant discounting, lack of confidence, higher product costs, higher energy costs or a reversal of recent improvements in the employment outlook could create a difficult environment in the second half of the year. While we continue to see a preference for "value" at all levels of household income, teens in general appear willing and able to spend for differentiated merchandise in most consumer categories."

Key survey findings in fashion, beauty and personal care, restaurants, digital media and video game categories include the following:

The "Taking Stock With Teens" survey is a research project comprised of gathering input from approximately 4,500 students with an average age of 16.5 years. Teen spending patterns, fashion trends, and brand and media preferences were assessed through visits to geographically diverse high schools in nine states, and through an online survey of a wider group of teens from 37 states. The survey is conducted in partnership with DECA (an international association of high school students).

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Piper Jaffray is a leading middle market investment bank and asset management firm serving clients in the U.S. and internationally. A proven advisory team combines deep product and sector expertise with ready access to global capital. Founded in 1895, the firm is headquartered in Minneapolis and has offices across the United States and in London and Hong Kong.

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Terry Sandven