LESS CLIPPING THIS YEAR

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.-Total couponing activity is down this year, but the average face value of coupons is on the upswing, No. 1 coupon processor CMS reported last week.

For the first six months of 1994, the total number of coupons distributed by manufacturers fell 3% to 164 billion, according to CMS' midyear report based on a survey of manufacturers' coupon programs.

Continuing a trend that began last year, consumers also redeemed 8% fewer coupons in the first half of 1994, compared with a year ago, bringing total coupons redeemed to 3.5 billion.

CMS said the decline in redemption is largely attributable to manufacturers shortening the expiration dates on coupons.

CMS also said the average face value of coupons, which increased 2 cents last year to 54 cents per coupon, increased to an average of 55 cents per coupon through the first half of '94.

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