Washington, DC, January 13, 2022 – Consumer confidence ticks up 1.6 points to read at 56.7 in this week’s Ipsos-Forbes Advisor U.S. Consumer Confidence Tracker compared to four weeks ago, indicating that sentiment overall has not been unduly strained in the past month by the Omicron variant. However, sentiment is at a 5.7-point deficit from this summer’s high of 62.4.
Six in ten Americans expect inflation to rise over the next year, while few anticipate that their income or standard of living will measurably improve over the same period, consistent with early December findings. Comfort with household purchases is mixed – 50% say they are more comfortable making non-major household purchases than six months ago and 46% say so of major household purchases.
1. Scoring at 56.7, the latest Overall Consumer Confidence gains 1.6 points from mid-December.
The Overall Confidence Index is currently 2.9 points above the pandemic average, and 3.4 points below where it stood in early March 2020, prior to the first lockdowns (60.1).
2. The Investment sub-index sees the most significant gain from mid-December, adding exactly 2 points. The Current and Expectations sub-indices show less meaningful growth, at 1.6 and 1.1 points respectively.
3. Jobs sentiment shows stability, with the Jobs sub-index shifting a fraction of a point.
The proportion of Americans who say they are more confident in their job security now compared to six months ago is at 54%, up 4 points from last month.
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 26%, down 3 points from mid-December.
In addition, 30% 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 4 points from four weeks ago.
4. Cost-of-living expectations for the next year have not substantially changed from early December 2021. A majority (62%) believe that the rate of inflation will continue to go up over the next year, consistent with the public’s views six weeks ago, but two-thirds (66%) expect their income to stay the same in the coming year. The one area where opinion has changed is the amount people expect to pay in taxes. Just 44% expect to pay more in taxes this year, down from 59% six weeks ago.
5. Comfort with making major and other household purchases relative to six months ago shows stability from mid-December.
46% say they are more comfortable making major household purchases compared to six months ago, up 3 points from last month.
50% say they are more comfortable making other household purchases compared to six months ago, down 1 point from mid-December.
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 US? 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?
Over the next year, do you think each of the following will go up, go down, or stay about the same?
The rate of inflation
The taxes you pay
The amount you pay on monthly bills and other regular expenses
Mortgage interest rates
The number of unemployed people in this country
Your household income (e.g. wages, pensions, benefits, investments, etc.)
Your own standard of living
The total amount of your debt (e.g., mortgage, home equity/auto/student/personal loans, credit card debt, etc.)
About the Study
These findings are based on data from an Ipsos survey conducted January 11-12, 2022 with a sample of 908 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 3.7 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. For n=908, 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.
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