US Consumer Satisfaction Hits Year Low

December 20, 2010

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Data-driven | Financial Services | Government & Politics | Pharma & Healthcare | Staffing

gallup-state-of-us-dec10.gifSeventeen percent of Americans say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the US at this time, the low point in a year when satisfaction levels generally have been in the 20% range, according to a new Gallup Poll. The current 17% satisfaction rating is low from a historical perspective, but still exceeds the all-time low, 7% in an October 2008 poll.

gallup-satisfaction-yearly-dec-2010.JPGMore generally, Gallup data shows satisfaction averaged 22% this year, lower than all but three yearly averages: 2008 (15%), 1979 (19%), and 1992 (21%). Satisfaction peaked at 27% in April 2010. Gallup data indicates the historical average across all years is 40%, and the yearly averages have been below that mark since 2006.

1 in 3 Americans Cites Economy as Problem

gallup-top10-mentions-dec10.gifWhen asked the open-ended question of what is the most important problem facing the country today, almost one in three (30%) Americans said the economy tops all current problems. Another 24% said unemployment or jobs specifically, making the economy and jobs easily the top two issues mentioned.

Thirteen percent mentioned dissatisfaction with the government, 10% the federal budget deficit, and 8% healthcare. The only non-domestic issue mentioned by a measuarable percentage of the population was war/wars (non-specific), with 5% of respondents giving this answer.
Either the economy or unemployment has been the top problem recorded by Gallup each month since February 2008. Those two issues have ranked first and second each month this year.

Gallup Sees No Quick Turnaround

Satisfaction has been below the historical average in each of the last five years, and has recovered only modestly from the record lows of 2008. Gallup analysts say US consumer satisfaction levels will probably not show sustained improvement until the economy turns around, as the economy typically weighs heavily in Americans’ assessments of whether they are satisfied or dissatisfied with conditions in the US.

Economic Confidence Deteriorates

Economic confidence is deteriorating sharply among Americans, according to other recent Gallup Poll data. Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index averaged -31 over the first two weeks of December, fully offsetting November’s improvement to -24, and essentially matching the monthly readings of -29 in October and -33 in September. In addition, consumers are virtually no more optimistic about the US economy in early December 2010 than they were at this time a year ago (-27).

About the Data: Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Dec. 10-12, 2010, with a random sample of 1,019 adults, aged 18 and older, living in the continental US, selected using random-digit-dial sampling.


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