Sunday, July 13, 2008

Big Research: 54.8% Feeling Less Wealthy Than They Did One Year Ago

We’ve got good news and bad news regarding consumer confidence in Julywith gas prices resting not-so-comfortably at above $4/gal as well as the faltering housing market, the war in Iraq, the credit card crunch, etc. etc. etc., fewer than one in five (18.8%) are confident/very confident this month in chances for a strong economy…while this is 29 points lower than 47.8% one year ago (the BAD), it’s flat with June’s record low reading, ending the confidence freefall that began in October 2007 (the GOOD).

With the Presidential battle just beginning to heat up, consumers are feeling a bit more skittish about political and national security issues…almost one-quarter (24.4%) continue to worry, up a point from June (23.3%) and rising 6+ points from a year ago (18.0%).

With no relief from gas prices in sight, spending sentiment echoes the post-Katrina era…half of consumers (50.0%) contend they’ve become more practical in their purchasing, rising several points from June (45.9%), more than 10 points from July ’07 (38.8%), and the highest reading since October ’05 (50.1%). It appears that retailers hoping to ring up sales for the back-to-school season may have trouble persuading consumers to put more than the basic pencils and paper into their shopping carts.

Consumers don’t appear to be willing to give into the gimmes anytime soon…almost three in five (58.1%) say they focus on needs over wants in spending, up from last month (53.8%) as well as last year (47.4%), and again the highest reading since a post-Katrina 58.5% (October 2005).

While the tight economy may have practical parents schooling children on the value of a dollar, it seems that many of us are learning our “green” lesson…more than one in five (21.6%) contend they’ve become more environmentally responsible in their daily lives.

No comments: