WORTHINGTON, Ohio–Consumers surveyed by BIGresearch expressed waning confidence in an economic recovery, and indicated that their overall spending will be highly cautious for some time.
According to the research firm’s BIGinsight executive briefing, 27.8 percent of consumers participating in the survey believe that the economy will rebound to what it was before the current crisis, down from 44.6 percent in July 2009. Almost half (49.9 percent) of the responding consumers said they now concentrate on “pragmatic purchases” when in the store, up from 48.5 percent last month. Nearly half of the respondents said that over the next five years, they will consider each purchase more carefully, stick firm to their budgets and become more price-conscious in buying clothing or food.
Other results from the survey bode poorly for the upcoming holiday shopping season. About one-third (32.4 percent) of the participants told BIGresearch that they would spend less on gifts than they did in last year’s holidays, while only 4.1 percent said they would spend more on gifts.
The survey did find that the recent decline in gasoline prices has made consumers more optimistic about their potential spending plans. At the same time, the unemployment rate of more than 9 percent has put a damper on consumer spending. Only 11 percent of the respondents said they believe that employment will perk up within the next six months. One-third (33.3 percent) believe employment will improve over the next seven to 18 months, while 51.1 percent expect that it will take 19 months or more before the job market revives.