Interviews for the latest polling were conducted between April 15 to 17 and May 6 to 8, 2003. The margin of error for the questions on each rolling average of two consecutive surveys totaling 2000 adults is +/-2.2%, nineteen times out of twenty.
-- After eight weeks of improving consumer attitudes, the Ipsos National CASH Index
(measuring Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household) dropped 2.2 points (within the margin of error) and now stands at 86.6. The current CASH Index possibly halts a trend that witnessed the third consecutive increase in 2003, something that had not previously occurred since the Index was inaugurated in January 2002. The current dip notwithstanding, the National CASH Index is up more than 25 points since early March, 2003, when the CASH Index was at its lowest point since the Index was inaugurated in January, 2002.
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The current dip in the CASH Index is due to downturns in the broadest measures of consumer attitudes -- the state of the local economy now and in the near future. Currently, local economic expectations stand at -5.1 (down 0.7 points since mid-April, 2003) and are the largest negative contributor to the Ipsos National CASH Index. The current state of the local economy stands at -3.2 (down 1.4 points since mid-April, 2003). Despite remaining unchanged since mid-April, 2003, the current state of personal finances (at -3.9) remains the second largest negative contributor to the Ipsos National CASH Index.
While local economic expectations are the largest negative contributor to the Ipsos National CASH Index, one-third of respondents are optimistic about the future. 37% of respondents expect the local economy to be stronger in six months; only 13% expect their local economy to be weaker.
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How the Ipsos CASH Index Scores Changed since January 2002
- The two regions most optimistic about the future of the local economy are New England (47% stronger) and Pacific (41% stronger).
- New England and the Pacific region have, over the past six months, been the most negative in overall economic outlook as well most negative in their evaluation of President Bush.
- Other demographic groups that are most optimistic about the future of the local economy are: Age 75+ (50% stronger), Hispanics (46% stronger), College-educated men (41% stronger), and individuals with household income of $75K+ (44%).
- The two regions least optimistic about the future of the local economy are the Mid-Atlantic (30% stronger) and the West North Central region (33% stronger).
- The Mid-Atlantic states are: New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
- The West North Central states are: Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
- Other demographic groups that are the least optimistic about the future of the local economy are: Blacks (28% stronger), Women 18-44 (31% stronger), Single moms (31% stronger), and individuals who rent their home (31% stronger).
The following chart depicts the net change in the most recent monthly CASH Index rating since January 2002 based on each of the factors used to generate the Index.
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Ipsos CASH Index
Surveys of consumers are conducted by Ipsos-Public Affairs, the Washington, D.C.-based division of Ipsos, which is the world's second largest polling and market research organization. The Ipsos Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household (CASH) Index polls are conducted the first and third week of every month, as part of Ipsos-Public Affairs weekly omnibus polling service. The Ipsos CASH Index, started in January 2002, is a bimonthly national survey of consumer attitudes on the current and future state of the local economy, personal financial situation and spending, saving and confidence to invest.
For more information about the Ipsos CASH Index or to receive this report on the first and third week of every month, please e-mail CASH@ipsos-na.com, or contact Ursula Davis at 202-463-7300.
For more information on this release, please contact:
President, Ipsos-Public Affairs