Almost Half of Adults Think Economy is Improving

July 15, 2010

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Data-driven | Financial Services | Media & Entertainment | Men | Retail & E-Commerce | Women

While US adults are still feeling the impact of the recession, 44% think things are getting better, according to [pdf] a new survey from PerkStreet Financial and Harris Interactive.

Improvements Seen, Actions Taken
Forty-four percent of Americans think the economy is improving. However, this has not stopped a large majority of Americans (83%) from taking action relating to the recession. These include:

  • 61% have cut back on entertainment expenses such as dining out and travel.
  • 57% have made changes in overall spending habits.
  • 41% are spending more time shopping for the best deals.
  • 40% are using more coupons.
  • 20% are cutting back on essentials like food and medication.

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Women Feel, React to Recession More than Men
Women have been hit especially hard by the recession, but have also taken the most action to improve their financial situations. For example, women are more likely than men to say the recession has increased household disagreements about money (20% percent compared to 12%).

Other gender differences in how the recession is perceived and managed include:

  • Women (84%) are more likely than men (76%) to feel personally impacted by the recession, and are also more likely to have taken action because of the recession (86% of women compared to 80% of men).
  • Among adults who have been impacted personally by the recession, 31% of women said the recession made them realize they had been spending frivolously, compared to 25% of men.
  • One in five of those who felt personally impacted by the recession said it has made it more acceptable to discuss money and finances with friends. Young women were more likely to feel this shift, at 28% of women ages 18 to 34, compared to 17% of men in the same age group.
  • Among adults who have been personally impacted by the recession, women (24%) were more likely than men (16%) to say there have been more arguments caused by money in their households.

Older Adults Less Upbeat
The effects of the recession vary by generation, as do responses to the crisis, with pessimism increasing with age.

  • Twenty-one percent of Americans believe the worst of the recession is still to come. Older adults are less upbeat about the economy, with 29% of adults ages 55 and older believing the worst is still to come, compared to only 12% of those 18-34.
  • Men ages 55 and above are more pessimistic than men ages 18-34, with nearly one-third (31%) saying the worst is yet to come compared to 13% of men younger than 55.
  • The recession has caused younger adults to consider the future, with 48% of those ages 18 to 34 reporting it has made them think more about financial planning.

7 in 10 Adults Don’t See Economic Improvement Coming
A combined seven in 10 US adults think the economy will stay flat or deteriorate in the coming year, according to the results of a recent Harris Poll. As of June 2010, just three in ten US adults (30%) say they expect the economy to improve, while two in five (42%) say it will stay the same; 28% believe it will get worse.

The prior month, almost two in five Americans (38%) said they thought the economy would improve in the coming year, while 34% said it would stay the same and 28% believed it would get worse.

About the Data: This survey was conducted online within the US by Harris Interactive on behalf of PerkStreet Financial from June 11-15, 2010 among 2,174 adults ages 18 and older.

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