Ipsos-Reid CASH Index: Consumer Attitudes Continue Sharp Decline

Every Element of Index Down from January Levels

WASHINGTON, D.C - The Ipsos-Reid CASH Index--an index of Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household--stands at 78.3, down 21.7 points from January 2002, when the index was set at 100.

This is the second release of the Ipsos-Reid CASH Index. Data for the index comprises results from surveys of consumers conducted twice a month since January. Results and index scores are compiled using rolling averages of two consecutive polls, based on a representative sample totaling 2,000 adults nationwide.

The Ipsos-Reid CASH Index comprises 10 questions, covering attitudes about the local economy now and in the future, personal finances now and in the future, comfort with making major purchases and other household purchases, confidence in job security and in the ability to save and invest for retirement or education, and job loss experience for self, friends and family in the recent past as well as job loss expectations for self, friends and family in the near future.

The Ipsos-Reid CASH Index has fallen to 78.3. Each of the 10 elements of the index now record negative scores. The deepest negative scores are:

  • Local Economic Expectations. Expectations about the future of the local economy are the largest source of doubts. Since January, the percentage of Americans who believe the economy in their local area will improve in the next six months has dropped from 41% in January to 29% today.

  • Confidence in Investments. Attitudes have flipped on confidence in investments, from 43% more confident to 39% less confident in January to 36% more confident to 51% less confident today.

  • Current Personal Financial Situations. Ratings of current financial situations have been the third-largest factor contributing to the 21.7 point drop in the index since January, as adults have moved from 28% positive (rating their current financial situation a 6 or 7 on a 1-to-7 scale) and 23% negative (rating their current financial situation a 1, 2 or 3) in January, to 25% positive-25% negative today. This element shows a nominal improvement in the current poll, however, from where it has stood since March.

Ipsos-Reid CASH Index (Ipsos-Reid Index of Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household) Mid June - Mid July 2002

Changes Since January 2002

The decline has been sudden and steep. In surveys as recent as May 3-19 and May 17 - June 9, the index stood at the same level as it was in January 2002, when the index was set at 100. Surveys throughout June and July show a consistent and precipitous decline - to 82.9 in the June 21 - July 14 survey, and to 78.3 in the current survey.

The margin of error for the questions on each rolling average of two consecutive surveys totaling 2000 adults is 177 2.2%.

    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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