StrategyOne Public Opinion Survey: Americans Fear 'Double Dip' Recession & European Financial Problems

65% fear a 'double dip' recession, 72% say Europe's financial problems likely to hurt US, 42% will cut back personal spending, 48% say spending will remain the same over next 3 months

NEW YORK, June 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Beyond significant concerns about the current state of the US economy, Americans see a double-dip recession as a real possibility and fear Europe's financial problems will harm the US economy.

65% of the roughly 1,000 Americans polled last week by StrategyOne say it's likely that the US will experience a double dip recession, compared with just 35% who say it's not likely to happen.  72% believe that Europe's financial problems are likely to harm the US' economic recovery, compared with just 28% who say the US is largely insulated.

Add to this the fact that just 36% have seen signs of economic recovery where they live and work, compared with 64% who say they have not seen too many signs or any signs at all of economic recovery.  In addition, 79% - nearly 8 in 10 Americas - agree that they really can't say for sure that the economy is improving.

That's why with calendar year 2010 at the half way point now, three quarters (70%) of Americans see economic recovery coming not until at least the end of 2011 and one quarter (23%) say the economy won't ever fully recover

The StrategyOne survey also found that 57% of Americans are fearful about running out of money in the next year and 44% - nearly half the country - agree that if things get much worse, they could easily see their family slipping into bankruptcy.  This is not surprising given that two in three (67%) Americans report they are living paycheck to pay check.

"Americans are expecting to take a double whammy on the chin soon: Europe's debt crisis and a double dip recession," said Bradley Honan, Vice President of StrategyOne, who authored the study.  "The tension is clearly palatable.  Americans are worried and scared about what's coming next and that's on top of the near universal recognition that we are mired in a pretty deep recession already."

This fear is reflected in Americans' spending habits — when asked about their own personal spending over the next 3 months, 42% say they will spend less money than they did over the last 3 months, while just 10% will spend more.  48% report their personal spending will likely stay even. 

Predicted online spending habits over the next 3 months reflect a similar trend as well — 36% report they will spend less money online than they did over the last 3 months, compared with just 9% who report they will spend more. 55% report they will likely spend the same amount as they did over the last 3 months.

When consumers do spend, value seems to be of paramount importance.  Almost half the country, or 47%, say they have primarily purchased products or services that they believe have great value, reflecting an effort to spend only when it's important.

"Attitudes towards the current economic climate should be very concerning for those who sell consumers goods and services.  The perception that the economy is likely slowing down again is leading consumers to tighten their belts and keep their wallets and purses closed.  Consumer marketers will need to figure out how to best dial up the perceived value of what they are selling in order to stay on track", said Bradley Honan of StrategyOne.

Here are some other conclusions that emerged from the StrategyOne data set:

Perceptions of the Current Economy:

There is near universal agreement (92%) that the US is still in a recession, and a strong majority, 79%, disagree with experts' characterization that the recession is over.

Additionally, more than half of the public (57%) believes the US economy is either in a deep recession (48%) or in a 1930s style economic depression (9%). Only 4% say the economy is doing fine and 39% say the economy is in a "mild recession."

Impact of the Recession on Americans:

Significant numbers of Americans have experienced hardship as a result of the recession.

  • 42% say that they or their spouse has had wages or salary reduced
  • 34% say they or their spouse lost their job or has been laid off
  • 33% have taken on more hours or another job to try and make ends meet
  • 28% dipped into a planned retirement account like an IRA or 401K because they needed the money
  • 14% say they have been forced to sell or liquidate a major asset like their car or home
  • 9% have had their house foreclosed on
  • 8% had their child delay college (or graduate school) or drop out to save money
  • In terms of their own personal finances, 2 in 10 expect say they will recover by the end of 2011 (20%), 3 in 10 say after the end of 2011 (27%), and a quarter say their personal finances won't ever fully recover (24%)

Survey Methodology:

StrategyOne conducted 1,050 online interviews among a representative sampling of Americans between June 25 and 27, 2010.  The overall margin of sampling error at the 95% level of confidence is = +/- 3.02% overall and larger for subgroups. Statistical weights were designed from the United States Census Bureau statistics. 

About StrategyOne:

With offices in Atlanta, Chicago, London, New York, Paris, San Mateo, and Washington, D.C., StrategyOne, a Daniel J. Edelman company, employs custom public opinion research and secondary research methodologies to deliver strategic counsel to corporate, organizational and governmental clients globally. Visit www.strategyone.net for more information.

Full Question Texts & Survey Data:

Question text: A double-dip recession refers to a recession followed by a short-lived recovery, followed by another recession. Which statement do you agree with more?

Answer

June 2010

I think it is likely that the US will experience a double dip recession.

65%

I do not think it is likely that the US will experience a double dip recession.

36%



Question text: Which statement do you agree with more?

Answer

June 2010

Europe's current financial problems, including Greece's debt concerns are likely to harm the United States' economic recovery

72%

The United States is largely insulated from Europe and Greece's financial problems and our economy won't likely be negatively impacted

28%



Question text: Think about the area where you live and work.  Are you currently seeing...

Answer

June 2010

SEEING SIGNS OF RECOVERY

36%

   Significant signs of economic recovery

5%

   Some signs of economic recovery

31%

NOT SEEING SIGNS OF RECOVERY

64%

   Not too many signs of economic recovery

44%

   No signs at all of economic recovery

20%



Question text: When do you expect that the economy will be fully recovered by?

Answer

June 2010

It is already fully recovered

1%

By the end of 2010

5%

By the end of 2011

20%

After the end of 2011

50%

It won't ever fully recover

23%



Question text:  Now you're going to see some statements. After each one, please indicate whether you agree or disagree with the statement.

Answer:  % Who Agree

June 2010

I really can't say for sure that the economy is improving.

79%

My family and I live paycheck to paycheck.

67%

I am fearful about running out of money in the next year.

57%

If things get much worse, I could easily see my family and I slipping into bankruptcy.

44%



Question text: In terms of your own personal finances, over the NEXT 3 MONTHS do you expect to...

Answer

June 2010

Spend more than you did over the last 3 months

10%

Spend the same amount as you spent over the last 3 months

48%

Spend less than you did over the last 3 months

42%



Question text: In terms of your own personal finances, over the NEXT 3 MONTHS do you expect to...

Answer

June 2010

Spend more online than you did over the last 3 months

9%

Spend the same amount online as you spent over the last 3 months

55%

Spend less online than you did over the last 3 months

36%



Question text: Is the United States currently in a recession?

Answer

June 2010

Yes

92%

No

8%



Question text: Some economic experts say that technically the United States has finally

gotten out of the current recession. Do you agree or disagree with these experts that the United States is no longer in a recession?

Answer

June 2010

Yes (Agree)

21%

No (Disagree)

79%



Question text: Which of the following best describes your view of the US economy?

Answer

June 2010

Doing fine

4%

In a mild recession

39%

In a deep recession

48%

In a 1903's style Economic Depression

9%



Question text:  Please indicate whether you have experienced any of these things since the current recession began in December 2007. Has this happened to you since the current recession began?

Answer:  % Who Said Yes

June 2010

Primarily purchased products or services that you believe have great value

53%

Either you or your spouse has had wages or salary reduce

42%

Either you or your spouse lost their job or has been laid off

34%

Taken on more hours or another job to try and make ends meet

33%

Dipped into a planned retirement account like an IRA or 401K because you needed the money

28%

Been forced to sell or liquidate a major asset like a car or home

14%

Had your home foreclosed on

9%

Had your child delay college or post graduate education, or stopped their studies before they graduated from college or graduate school to save money

8%



SOURCE StrategyOne



RELATED LINKS
http://www.strategyone.net/

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