Ipsos-Reid CASH Index: At 79.2, Three Straight Months in the Doldrums

Lack of Confidence in Local Economic Prospects Drives Worries; Concern about Personal Finances Overtakes Lack of Confidence in Investments as Second Biggest Economic Worry

WASHINGTON, D.C - The Ipsos-Reid CASH Index--an index of Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household--stands at 79.2, down 20.8 points since May, as attitudes remained low throughout the summer and now deep into the fall. The outlook for the local economy contributes most to negative consumer attitudes.

In a switch, consumers seem more concerned about their own personal financial situation now than they are about their ability to save and invest for retirement or for their children's education. Confidence in the ability to invest in the future was the second biggest negative score at the beginning of the summer, but it now ranks as the third-largest economic concern, behind prospects for the local economy and current personal financial situation. The stock market plunge may now be so steep and so persistent that some consumers look at it as a current financial concern, and not just another reason to worry about the future.

These surveys were conducted by Ipsos-Reid US Public Affairs, the Washington, D.C.-based division of Ipsos, which is the world's third largest polling and market research organization, based in Paris. Ipsos-Reid US Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective public affairs research company. The Ipsos-Reid Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household (CASH) Index polls are conducted the first and third week of every month, as part of Ipsos-Reid US Public Affairs weekly omnibus polling service. Interviews for the latest polling were conducted between September 16 to 19 and October 1 to 3, 2002. The margin of error for the questions on each rolling average of two consecutive surveys totaling 2000 adults is 177 2.2%, nineteen times out of twenty.

How Ipsos-Reid CASH Index Scores Changed since January 2002

The following chart depicts the net change in the CASH Index rating based on each of the economic factors used to generate the Index.

Every one of the ten factors measured in the Ipsos-Reid CASH Index are now in significantly negative territory, meaning attitudes on each factor are down from the level found in January 2002, when the Ipsos-Reid CASH Index was set at 100.

    For more information on this release, please contact:

    Thomas Riehle President Ipsos-Reid US Public Affairs 202.463.7300 thomas.riehle@ipsospa.com

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