Positive Economic News Fails to Shake Consumer Pessimism

December 3, 2010 08:03

“Consumers are saying ‘not so fast’ on calling a recovery,” said Bradley Honan, senior vice president of StrategyOne.  “Even though there has been some good news about the economy, consumers are still unsettled about the future.”

We’re being told everything is improving but the message is not sinking in with most Americans. A recent by StrategyOne found “that 79% believe the U.S. remains in a recession; only 10% rate the economy as excellent or good; and just eight percent think the economy will be much better by next year.”

Cutting back seems to be the Christmas theme this year. 39% say they are concerned enough about the economy that they are planning to spend less during the holidays than they did last year. Another 52% said they were uncertain about the future and planned to keep their spending in line with last year’s holiday spending.

News of the recent burst of the housing bubble in Ireland and the possible need for an economic bailout there also concerned some consumers, with 43% worried about the impact on the U.S. economy. The other 57% must not be paying attention.

Full Question Texts & Survey Data:

Question text: I believe the U.S. economy is …?

Answer Percentage
In a recession 79%
No longer in a recession 22%

Question text: The rating I give the economy today is …?

Answer Percentage
Excellent 2%
Good 8%
Fair 50%
Poor 41%

Question text: By this time next year, the U.S. economy will be …?

Answer Percentage
Much better than it is now 8%
Somewhat better than it is now 67%
Somewhat worse than it is now 18%
Much worse than it is now 7%

Question text: Which of the following statements do you agree with more?

Answer Percentage
The recession is over in my mind, and I am definitely ready to spend more this holiday season than I did last year 10%
I am uncertain about the future and therefore I will try and keep my holiday spending about in line with what I spent last year 52%
I am still very concerned about the economy and my own personal finances and therefore I will definitely spend less this holiday season than I did a year ago 39%

Question text: People who spend a lot of money this holiday season on gifts and presents are acting in bad taste because so many people are out of work. Do you …?

Answer Percentage
Agree 36%
Disagree 64%

Question text: How much of an impact do you expect that the burst of the Irish housing bubble will have on the U.S. economy …?

Answer Percentage
A great deal 7%
Some 36%
Only a little 36%
None at all 21%

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