Washington, DC, April 8, 2021 — Americans’ consumer sentiment surpasses levels last seen just before the March 2020 lockdowns as the Overall Confidence Index in this week’s Ipsos-Forbes Advisor U.S. Consumer Confidence Tracker hits 61.2. This week’s score is less than 3 points shy of its historical record of 63.8 high of May 2018.
Other sub-indices attain new highs. At 70.6, the Expectations Index is at its highest point in the 19-year history of the tracker, besting the previous record of 69.1 in February 2018. The Investment Index (58.2) shows its third-best score in 19 years, behind record high levels seen in June 2017 and May 2018 by only half a point.
Sentiment has risen over last week across many demographics, with the most notable increase evident among Americans age 18 to 34 (+5.6) points.
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.
1. Scoring at 61.2, the latest overall Consumer Confidence gains 1.5 points from last week.
- The Confidence index is currently 10.3 points above the pandemic average, and 1.1 points above where it stood in early March 2020 (60.1).
2. All sub-indices see an increase of 1.5 to 2.0 points this week. Similar to the Overall Index, the Current, Expectations and Investment sub-indices are now above their level of early March 2020.
3. The Jobs sub-index’s gain of 1.5 points reverses last week’s decline of 1.4 points.
- 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 38%, up 1 point from last week.
- In addition, 38% 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, unchanged from last week.
4. The percentage of Americans who believe that the economy will rebound quickly once restrictions are lifted on business rises 4 points from last week, and 8 points from two weeks ago, to 64%. Just one in three (31%) do not believe that the economy will recover quickly post-pandemic.
5. Half of Americans favor reopening businesses even if the virus is not yet fully contained – 52% (up 1 point from last week). The proportion of those who disagree is unchanged from last week at 44%.
6. Over half express greater comfort with making major and other household purchases this week.
- Those who say they more comfortable with making a major purchase rises 3 points from last week, to 53%.
Compared to six months ago, 60% say they are more comfortable making other household purchases than they were six months ago, up 3 points from last week.
The data used for the Consumer Confidence index and sub-indices is based on the following questions:
- Now, thinking about our economic situation, how would you describe the current economic situation in the U.S.? Is it… very good, somewhat good, somewhat bad or very bad?
- 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.
- 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?
- 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
- 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?
- Compared to 6 months ago, are you NOW more or less comfortable making a major purchase, like a home or car?
- Compared to 6 months ago, are you NOW more or less comfortable making other household purchases?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
Q. To what extent do you agree with the each of the following?
- The economy will recover quickly once the lockdown is over.
- We should restart the economy and allow businesses to open even if the virus is still not fully contained.
About the Study
These findings are based on data from an Ipsos survey conducted April 6-7, 2021 with a sample of 915 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 2018 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 3.7 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 of the following (n=915, DEFF=1.5, 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.
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