March Consumer Confidence Shows Up

March Consumer Confidence Shows Up

A recent Executive Briefing from BIGresearch of a report entitled Economic & Consumer Insights for Marketing Executives found that Consumer confidence is up, uncertainty and anxiety is still an issue, consumers are getting personal finances in order, and new consumer is emerging with Value as priority.

Some of the specifics of these findings are:

- Consumer confidence in March is up 2% from February to 61.1%, reversing a three-month decline since November.
- 51.6% of consumers believe economy will get back to normal within next 12 months (up from 42.7% in February )
- Women continue to be more pessimistic than men regarding consumer confidence, (55.8% vs. 66.6%)
- 40.3% know someone who has been laid off, and 16.6% say that someone in their family has been laid off, which may equate to a slower or more gradual recovery in spending.
- 45% say paying down debt, and 37.9% say increasing savings remain the top two financial steps for next 90 days.
- Baby-boomers, particularly those 55+, have had their daily purchases affected the most by the decline in value of their retirement savings.
- 44.9% of people say they have become more practical and realistic in purchasing behavior.
- 44.2% say they are spending more time with their families
- 37.2% who say the changes they have made are long term.
- 71% say name brands or familiar labels aren’t important to them.
- Only 7.2% say newest trends and styles are important.
- 69% say fashion is less important than value and comfort.
- 79.4% say they usually or only buy clothing when it’s on sale.

Purchase intentions are up for a 90-day outlook in: men and women’s casual clothing, dining out, sporting goods, home improvement supplies, lawn & garden (seasonal), furniture, and decorative home furnishings.

Other areas showing steady purchase intentions include computers, housing, stereo equipment, TVs, DVDs/VCRs, and vacation travel.

Home appliances have dipped slightly since January, and the home refinance boom has peaked and is trending down for the third month.

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