The Associated Press/Ipsos CASH Index

CASH (Consumer Attitudes and Spending By Household) Index Remains High In September 2004 Americans Feel Good About Economy, Household Budget And Ability To Save

Washington, DC -- The Associated Press/Ipsos-Public Affairs CASH Index measuring consumer attitudes stands at 103.4, down slightly from 104.8 in August. The CASH Index is based on ten questions measuring consumer attitudes, asked monthly since January 2002, when the Index was originally established with an index score of 100. The CASH Index continues on the general upward trend observed since October 2003, when it stood at 74.4. One year ago, the index stood at 82.3 in September 2003. A Year's Worth Of Progress In Consumer Attitudes In the past year, consumer attitudes have been on a generally positive direction. Prior to the September survey, the CASH Index improved in each of four consecutive months, the first time since the inception of the study that four consecutive months showed improvements over the previous month. The current index represents a stabilization of the score at a very high level. The Expectations Index in particular show improvement over the past year, from 67.4 in September 2003 to 99.1 today. The Expectations Index measures consumers' anticipation about the direction of the economy, the job market and their personal finances in the next six months. Consumers feel better about the current local economy now than they did one year ago. More are feeling better about making household purchases than felt that way a year ago. Fewer say someone close to them lost a job due to economic conditions in the past six months. As a result, a majority (51%) says they are more confident about their ability to save and invest. Continued strong consumer attitudes are reflected in the political questions Ipsos asks on this same poll for The Associated Press. Among registered voters, a majority now approve of the way President Bush is handling the economy. To download the above chart please click on the Chart 1 pdf at the top of this page. To download the above chart please click on the Chart 2 pdf at the top of this page. To download the above table please click on the Chart 3 pdf at the top of this page. To view the complete filled-in questionnaire for this survey, please click on the Topline Results pdf at the top of this page. The Associated Press Poll is conducted by Ipsos-Public Affairs. Between September 7-9, 2004, the AP/Ipsos poll interviewed a representative sample of 1,007 adults nationwide. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 for all adults. Margin of error for subgroups may be higher. The AP/Ipsos CASH Index is designed to provide a single, handy number that summarizes movement across an array of consumer attitudes, including current assessments and near-term expectations about the economy and personal finances, job security, confidence in the ability to save and invest for the future, and comfort level with making major purchases and other household purchases. Ipsos CASH Index Surveys of consumers are conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, the Washington, D.C.-based division of Ipsos, a leading global survey-based market research group. The Ipsos Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household (CASH) Index polls are conducted the first and third week of every month, as part of Ipsos-Public Affairs weekly omnibus polling service. The Ipsos CASH Index, started in January 2002, is a bimonthly national survey of consumer attitudes on the current and future state of the local economy, personal financial situation and spending, saving and confidence to invest.

For more information about the Ipsos CASH Index or to receive this report on the first and third week of every month, please e-mail, or contact Brian Scanlon at 202.463.2146. For more information on this press release, please contact: Janice Bell Director, Ipsos Public Affairs Washington, D.C. 202.463.7300 About Ipsos Public Affairs Ipsos Public Affairs, headquartered in Washington D.C., is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research company made up of campaign and political polling veterans as well as seasoned research professionals. The company conducts strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research but often elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research. It has offices in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, with affiliates around the world. Ipsos Public Affairs conducts national and international public opinion polling on behalf of The Associated Press, the world's oldest and largest news organization, and conducts the young voters poll for Ipsos Public Affairs is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group. To learn more, visit: About Ipsos Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals. Ipsos helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and reactions of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world. Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media. They measure public opinion around the globe. Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting and modeling and consulting. Ipsos has a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999. In 2003, Ipsos generated global revenues of $644.2 million U.S. To learn more, visit: Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris Premier Marchй, and is part of the SBF 120 and Next Prime Indices as well as eligible to the Deferred Settlement System (SRD). Euroclear code 7329, Reuters ISOS.LN, Bloomberg IPS FP

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