Negative investment outlook coincides with drop in U.S. consumer confidence

Six in ten say they are now less comfortable making household purchases than they were six months ago

The author(s)
  • Nicolas Boyon Senior Vice President and Ipsos Global Advisor Lead
  • Catherine Morris Data Journalist, US, Public Affairs
  • James Diamond Senior Research Manager, Public Affairs
  • Rhett Laffoon Senior Research Analyst, Public Affairs
  • Hailey Foster Research Analyst, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, January 28, 2022 – Consumer confidence declines further amid market volatility, falling 4.4 points to read at 52.3 in this week’s Ipsos-Forbes Advisor U.S. Consumer Confidence Tracker. This puts overall sentiment at levels last seen in February 2021.

Comfort with household spending – major and otherwise – also takes a major step back as a majority now saw they are less comfortable with both relative to six months ago.

While sentiment declines across all demographic groups, it has held steadier for more affluent Americans. Among Americans earning less than $50,000 and those earning between $50,000 to $100,000 sentiment fell 5.2 and 4.7 points respectively from two weeks ago.  Sentiment has declined a comparatively more modest 3.4 points among those earning more than $100,000.


Read the full story from Forbes Advisor here.

Learn more about the Ipsos Global Consumer Confidence Index and sub-indices via the interactive portal, Ipsos Consolidated Economic Indicators (IpsosGlobalIndicators.com) including graphic comparisons, trended data and all the questions on which they are based.


Detailed Findings

1.Scoring at 52.3, the latest Overall Consumer Confidence falls 4.4 points from two weeks ago.

  • The Overall Confidence Index is currently 1.5 points below the pandemic average, and 7.8 points below where it stood in early March 2020, prior to the first lockdowns (60.1).

2. The Investment and Current sub-indices experience a sharp decline from two weeks ago, at 7.4 and 6.6 respectively. Expectations falls a less precipitous 3.5 points.

3. Jobs sentiment shows greater stability relative to the other sub-indices, with the Jobs sub-index falling 1 point.

  • The proportion of Americans who say they are more confident in their job security now compared to 6 months ago is at 49%, down 5 points from two weeks ago.
  • The proportion of Americans reporting they, a family member, or a personal acquaintance lost their job in the past six months due to economic conditions is at 24%, down 2 points from two weeks ago.
  • In addition, 41% say it’s likely they, a family member, or a personal acquaintance will lose their job in the next six months due to economic conditions, up 11 points from two weeks ago.

4. Americans indicate that their spending and saving habits have not changed significantly from December. Around half say they have been spending, investing, drawing from savings and borrowing money at the same rate as they have been for the past few months. However, more (65%) say they have been paying off their loans at a similar rate.

5. The number who report spending and saving more or less has not changed substantially from a month ago. The most meaningful difference has occurred among those who say they are spending money less (+6 points from December) and those who are borrowing or using credit less (-6 points from December).

6. Comfort with making major and other household purchases relative to six months ago drops sharply, as a majority now say they are less comfortable making such purchases.

  • 37% say they are more comfortable making major household purchases compared to six months ago, down 9 points from two weeks ago.
  • 39% say they are more comfortable making other household purchases compared to six months ago, down 11 points from two weeks ago.

Questions

The data used for the Consumer Confidence index and sub-indices is based on the following questions:

1. Now, thinking about our economic situation, how would you describe the current economic situation in US? Is it… very good, somewhat good, somewhat bad or very bad?

2. Rate the current state of the economy in your local area using a scale from 1 to 7, where 7 means a very strong economy today and 1 means a very weak economy.

3. Looking ahead six months from now, do you expect the economy in your local area to be much stronger, somewhat stronger, about the same, somewhat weaker, or much weaker than it is now?

4. Rate your current financial situation, using a scale from 1 to 7, where 7 means your personal financial situation is very strong today and 1 means it is very weak

5. Looking ahead six months from now, do you expect your personal financial situation to be much stronger, somewhat stronger, about the same, somewhat weaker, or much weaker than it is now?

6. Compared to 6 months ago, are you NOW more or less comfortable making a major purchase, like a home or car?

7. Compared to 6 months ago, are you NOW more or less comfortable making other household purchases?

8. Compared to 6 months ago, are you NOW more or less confident about job security for yourself, your family and other people you know personally?

9. Compared to 6 months ago, are you NOW more or less confident of your ability to invest in the future, including your ability to save money for your retirement or your children’s education?

10. Thinking of the last 6 months, have you, someone in your family or someone else you know personally lost their job as a result of economic conditions?

11. Now look ahead at the next six months. How likely is it that you, someone in your family or someone else you know personally will lose their job in the next six months as a result of economic conditions?

Additional question:

1. In the past few months, have you done each of the following more than, less than, or as much as you usually do?

  • Draw from your savings
  • Pay off your loans/credit
  • Borrow money or use credit
  • Invest or save money
  • Spend money

About the Study                                                

These findings are based on data from an Ipsos survey conducted January 25-26, 2022 with a sample of 938 adults aged 18-74 from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii who were interviewed online in English.

The sample was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel, partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2016 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education.  

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online non-probability polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect. For n=938, DEFF=1.5 and adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-5.2 percentage points.

Findings from March 2010 to early March 2020 are based on data from Refinitiv /Ipsos’ Primary Consumer Sentiment Index (PCSI) collected in a monthly survey on Ipsos’ Global Advisor online survey platform with the same questions. For the PCSI survey, Ipsos interviews a total of 1,000+ U.S. adults aged 18-74. The Refinitiv/Ipsos Primary Consumer Sentiment Index (PCSI), ongoing since 2010, is a monthly survey of consumer attitudes on the current and future state of local economies, personal finance situations, savings, and confidence to make large investments. The PCSI metrics reported each month consist of a “Primary Index” based on 10 questions available upon request and of several “sub-indices” each based on a subset of these 10 questions. Those sub-indices include a Current Index, an Expectations Index, an Investment Index, and a Jobs Index. 

Findings for January 2002- February 2011 are based on data from the RBC CASH Index, a monthly telephone survey of 1,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older conducted by Ipsos with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Chris Jackson

Senior Vice President, US

Public Affairs

+1 202 420 2025

[email protected]

Kate Silverstein

Media Relations Specialist, US

Public Affairs

+1 718 755 8829

[email protected]  

About Ipsos

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