BigResearch: Consumer confidence in January is the highest since April 2010
Home Textiles Today Staff -- Home Textiles Today, 1/26/2011 5:17:04 AM
COLUMBUS, OHIO - Consumer confidence was at its highest in nine months, as almost one third of shoppers surveyed by BigResearch said they are "very confident/confident" about the chances for a strong economy in the New Year.
The consumer research firm surveys more than 8,000 shoppers each month for its Consumer Intentions & Actions Survey.
For this latest survey, conducted Jan. 4 to 11, almost a third, or 32.2%, or respondents said they are very confident/confident, compared to December's 27.3% rate and January 2010's 30.0%.
The highest reading in recent memory was April 2010's 32.9%.
More related findings show that in January, more than a third (35.1%) asserted the economy will rebound to pre-recession prosperity. That's a drop of more than five points from the 40.8% who said the same back in Jan. 2010. One in three (33.7%) said they don't believe the economy will make a full comeback, up from a year ago (30.3%). And nearly as many (31.2%) just aren't sure, increasing slightly in one year's time (29.0%).
"Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the recession had varying effects on consumers, depending on age," BigResearch said.
Those 18-34 are particularly concerned with savings compared to their older peers. The 35-54 age group is concentrating more on budgeting and dining out less, while the chief concerns of those 55-plus revolve around credit card usage.
Post holiday, with credit card bills arriving in mailboxes soon, "consumers are also reevaluating what they really need rather than what they want," Big-Research continued. In January, more than half (55.2%) said they are zeroing in on the necessities when shopping, rising from a month ago (52.7%). In terms of practicality, though, consumers are pulling back less so than a year ago (60.2%).
At ret ail, Home Depot (28.0%) and Lowe's (25.2%) "continue to hammer the competition" in the home improvement/ hardware segment, Big-Research said. Walmart (5.2%), Menards (4.0%), and ACE (2.7%) follow in the single digits.
Consumers also seem to be greeting 2011 "with a more upward 90-day outlook compared to Jan. 2010 and Jan. 2009," BigResearch found in its Diffusion Index - whoch evaluates consumers who say they'll spend less subtracted from those who will spend more. With the exception of the seasonal lawn & garden category, all others - including linens/bedding/draperies and home décor -- declined from Dec. 2010, "as shoppers stow their holiday spending mindsets." All categories remain depressed compared to pre-recession January 2007.
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