Seven in 10 Feel the Same or Worse Economically Than a Year Ago
NEW YORK–(Business Wire)–
On average, Americans don`t expect their quality of life, including their
spending levels, to return to pre-recession levels until mid-2013, according to
the findings of a survey released today by AlixPartners LLP, the global
business-advisory firm. The poll also finds that seven in 10 Americans today
feel the same or worse about their personal economic situations than a year ago,
during the depths of the recession, and that 83% expect to spend the same or
less on non-essential purchases over the next 12 months, illustrating an ongoing
frugality that`s hampering prospects for a consumer-driven economic recovery.
The survey was conducted recently as a reprise of similar AlixPartners surveys
in 2009 — one in February and another in November.
According to the poll, Americans are also decidedly less optimistic about a
quick recovery in the economy at large than they were in 2009, another factor in
restrained spending. The majority of respondents, or 63%, now say that an
economic recovery won`t take place until 2012 or later, versus the 46% who felt
that way in November and 40% who picked that year or later in early 2009. The
proportion of Americans who now believe that a recovery will take place this
year or next: just 5% and 12%, respectively.
“When we polled Americans last November, they expected their personal spending
levels and lifestyles to be back to pre-recession levels by, on average,
November of 2012, but now they`re saying not till August of 2013,” said Fred
Crawford, CEO of AlixPartners. “Obviously, despite some modest movement forward
in the economy, individual Americans remain greatly concerned about their
personal economic situations. In the past, AlixPartners has talked about how
this could translate into a `new normal` environment for businesses of all types
that rely upon the American consumer: lower plateaus of consumer spending for
years to come, maybe for the foreseeable future. Today, it looks like this new
normal is already happening.”
Americans continue to say that their two top concerns are their own personal
debt levels and possible job loss. Some 20% of respondents in latest survey cite
the elimination of personal debt as their top concern, versus 13% who cite
potential job loss. The seven-percentage-point gap between the two top concerns
has widened since November, when 18% cited personal debt and 14% said job loss.
“The gap between the top two consumer concerns was just two percentage points in
February 2009, possibly illustrating some stabilization on the employment front
over the past 15 months,” said Crawford. “However, given the length of time that
most expect it will take before they see a personal economic recovery and the
urgency on the personal debt front, consumer spending likely will continue to
languish for some time.”
About the study
The AlixPartners survey was conducted May 24-26 among 1,000 U.S. adults. It was
a reprise of key questions asked in February 2009 and November 2009, in which
Americans said that, post-recession, they plan to save significantly more of
their total income and cut back on discretionary spending.
Americans were asked to provide feedback on current economic environment,
describe current spending patterns, and estimate how their saving/spending
habits will change post-recession.
The respondent group was representative of the U.S population across all key
AlixPartners LLP is a global business-advisory firm offering comprehensive
services to improve corporate performance, execute corporate turnarounds, and
provide litigation consulting and forensic accounting services. The firm has
more than 900 professionals in 14 offices across North America, Europe and Asia.
The firm can be found on the Web at www.alixpartners.com.
Tim Yost, +1-248-204-8689
Copyright Business Wire 2010