SCHAUMBURG, Illinois: Almost nine in every ten adult Americans (86%) believe that the nation is in recession; while over half that number (54%) think the downturn will last for more than twelve months.
So reports Nielsen Consumer Research's Global Online Consumer Survey, conducted among 28,663 internet users in fifty-two national markets across Europe, Asia Pacific, North America and the Middle East between September 22 and October 6.
Among the key findings ...
- Women are more downbeat than men over the state of the nation, with more women (91%) than men (82%) believing that the US economy is in recession.
- Men were markedly more optimistic than women about the recession's end, with 27% of males responding affirmatively, compared to only 11% of females.
- When asked about the state of their own personal finances over the next twelve months, 39% of females responded “not so good” compared to 28 percent of males.
- Only 16% of women surveyed think their job prospects over the next twelve months will be good, compared to 26%.
- Of those surveyed, 38% told Nielsen the ailing US economy would be their biggest concern over the next six months.
- Increasing fuel prices were the top concern for 10% of respondents, followed by debt (9%), increasing utility bills (7%), increasing food prices (5%) and job security (ditto).
- In order to cope with their economic woes, US consumers are trying to reduce their use of gas and electricity (67%), cutting back on out-of-home entertainment (56%), spending less on new clothes (55%) and using their cars less often (54%). Just 4% report taking no action at all.
"As far as consumers are concerned, it doesn't particularly matter that a growing number of economic indicators are pointing in that direction. They were feeling pain in their wallets and bank accounts long before October's tumultuous stock market activity."
[The Nielsen press release is curiously insular, given that it offers no information whatever about consumer attitudes beyond US shores, even though its domestic sample (circa 500) represents only 17.4% of the survey's total global sample.]
Data sourced from [edited] Nielsen press release; additional content by WARC staff