2014

StrategyOne Survey: Two-Thirds of Americans Expect Double-Dip Recession, Brace for Second Hit Worse Than the First

Public fearful about prospects for economic recovery

Almost half see America's 'best days' behind us, 7 in 10 concerned country is 'fundamentally broken and not working'

NEW YORK, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Almost two in three Americans (65%) say a double-dip recession — defined as a recession followed by a short-lived recovery, followed by another recession — is now likely to happen.  Among those who expect a double-dip recession, nearly half (44%) fear it will be worse than the first one, with 21% worried it will be "much more severe." Just 24% think the second recession will be less severe.

These findings come from a recently conducted survey of 1,043 Americans by the polling firm StrategyOne, a Daniel J. Edelman company.

As they are bracing for a second downturn, Americans are certainly not holding their breath for a full recovery coming anytime soon. Just 5% think there will be a full economic recovery by the end of this year, and only another 21% see recovery taking place by the end of 2011.  Half of all Americans polled (50%) see a recovery not coming until sometime after the end of 2011, and about a quarter (23%) doubt our economy will ever fully recover.

But beyond feelings about where the economy is today and where it is heading next, fundamental doubts and concerns are being raised about America. The country is split on whether America's best days lie ahead of us or behind. A slim majority, 52%, say they are ahead of us, while 48% say they are behind us.  There is however consensus around another point –  71% agree that America is fundamentally broken and not working.

"The American public — characteristically optimistic and resilient — is looking around and seeing more and more dark storm clouds approaching on the horizon," said Bradley Honan, senior vice president of StrategyOne. "Not only has confidence in the economy been severely undermined, there are now real, significant doubts emerging about our country.

The clearest implication is that going forward, consumers are expected to be a lot more frugal.   With consumers accounting for nearly two-thirds of economic activity in the country, this is indeed a worrisome trend.

Facing a scary and uncertain financial future, Americans are watching their wallets:

  • 41% are planning to cut back on their spending over the next 3–4 months, compared with 8% who plan to increase it.
  • 35% say they will plan to cut back their online spending over the next to 3–4 months, compared with 12% who plan to increase it.
  • 79% say they are planning to spend less money for Christmas this year.
  • 87% say they do not plan to make a big-ticket purchase (such as a house or car) in the next 3–4 months.
  • 49% have already delayed making a big-ticket purchase during the past few months.
  • 26% of Americans don't expect their personal finances to fully recover from the downturn until after 2011, and just as many (26%) think their personal finances won't ever fully recover.

"As we enter the 34th month since the 'Great Recession' began, we see the mind-set of consumers turning even more cautious and conservative than what we have seen previously," said Honan. "The consumer economic engine which drives our growth is either stalled or stuck in first gear. Until consumers feel more confident and are willing to spend more freely, growth will likely be anemic at best."

Survey Methodology:

StrategyOne conducted 1,043 online interviews among a representative sampling of Americans between August 20 and 23, 2010. The margin of sampling error at the 95% level of confidence is = +/- 3.03% overall and larger for subgroups. Statistical weights were designed from the United States Census Bureau statistics. 

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

Percentage

I think it is likely that the U.S. will experience a double-dip recession.

65%

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

35%



Question text: You indicated that you thought it was likely that the U.S. will experience a double-dip recession, meaning that we'll have a recession followed by a short-lived recovery, followed by another recession. Do you think that the 2nd recession in this scenario will be...

Among those who believe the US will experience a double-dip recession.

Answer

Percentage

Much more severe than our current recession

21%

Somewhat more severe than our

current recession

23%

Roughly the same as our current

recession in terms of its severity

33%

Somewhat less severe than our

current recession

20%

Much less severe than our current

recession

4%



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

Answer

Percentage

It is already fully recovered

1%

By the end of 2010

5%

By the end of 2011

21%

After the end of 2011

50%

It won't ever fully recover

23%



Question text: Would you say that Americans' best days are ahead of us or behind us?

Answer

Percentage

Ahead of us.

52%

Behind us.

48%



Question text: I hate to admit it, but America is fundamentally broken and not working.

Answer

Percentage

Strongly agree

31%

Somewhat agree

40%

Somewhat disagree

22%

Strongly disagree

7%



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

Answer

Percentage

Spend more than you did over the last 3 months

8%

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

52%

Spend less than you did over the last 3 months

41%



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

Answer

Percentage

Spend more online than you did over the last 3 months

12%

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

53%

Spend less online than you did over the last 3 months

35%



Question text: (Are you) Planning to spend less money for Christmas this year?

Answer

Percentage

Yes.

79%

No.

22%



Question text: Do you plan to make a big-ticket purchase in the next 3 to 4 months, such as a house, a car or another expensive item?

Answer

Percentage

Yes.

13%

No.

87%



Question text: Over the past few months, have you delayed making a big-ticket purchase, such as a house, a car or another expensive item?

Answer

Percentage

Yes.

49%

No.

51%



Question text: When do you expect that your own personal finances will be fully recovered by?

Answer

Percentage

They are already fully recovered

5%

By the end of 2010

11%

By the end of 2011

20%

After the end of 2011

26%

They won't ever fully recover

26%

My personal finances have not really been impacted

12%



About StrategyOne:

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.  With offices in Atlanta, Chicago, London, New York, Paris, San Mateo, Washington, D.C., and Abu Dhabi StrategyOne provides global clients with evidence based stakeholder insights, analysis and measurement. Visit www.strategyone.net for more information.

About Edelman:

Edelman is the world's largest independent public relations firm, with 3,300 employees in 52 offices worldwide. Edelman was named Advertising Age's top-ranked PR firm of the decade; Adweek's "2009 Agency of the Year"; PRWeek's "2009 Agency of the Year" and "UK Consultancy of the Year"; and Holmes Report's "Agency of the Decade," "2009 Best Large Agency to Work For" and "2009 Asia Pacific Consultancy of the Year." Edelman owns specialty firms Blue (advertising), StrategyOne (research), RUTH (creative expression), DJE Science (medical education/publishing and science communications), and MATTER (sports, sponsorship, and entertainment).  Visit www.edelman.com for more information.

SOURCE StrategyOne



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

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

 

PR Newswire Membership

Fill out a PR Newswire membership form or contact us at (888) 776-0942.

Learn about PR Newswire services

Request more information about PR Newswire products and services or call us at (888) 776-0942.