Consumer Confidence Edges Up Slightly
As gas prices across the nation have begun to decline, consumer confidence in the economy appears to be headed in the other direction — albeit slowly. According to the Consumer Intentions & Actions survey for August, conducted by the marketing research firm BIGresearch, 23.6 percent of respondents are confident/very confident in the chances for a strong economy this month, up from July’s record-low of 18.8 percent. The online survey polled more than 7,500 consumers. Here are some more findings:
* 48.6 percent said they’ve become more practical in their purchasing, down from last month (50 percent), but still significantly higher than August ’07 (37.9 percent);
* 54 percent said they expect more layoffs in the next six months, down more than eight points from July (62.3 percent); 37.7 percent believe layoff levels will remain the same, up from 31.2 percent last month; and just 8.3 percent foresee fewer, up from 6.5 percent in July; (more than half of respondents to a CatalogSuccess.com poll this month indicated that they’ve had to lay people off this year);
* 35.8 percent list paying down debt as their top financial goal this month, followed by decreasing overall spending (34.1 percent), increasing savings (27.5 percent) and making purchases with cash more often (22.5 percent);
* 47.3 percent feel they’re in worse financial shape compared to a year ago;
* 54.4 percent of the respondents said they’re taking fewer shopping trips compared to 30 days ago (52.2 percent);
* 45.6 percent said they were bargain hunting more often when shopping; and
* 53.2 percent said they would definitely/probably invest in the stock market in August, up more than five points from July (47.8 percent).
For more information, go to www.bigresearch.com .