Posts Tagged ‘Confidence’

Surprising Insights: American Pulse

As some of you may know, we’ve been releasing these really handy tools called InsightCenters, perfect for serving up answers in an intuitive, interactive and illustrative way. You can find insights on a wide range of topics – mobile device ownership, Hispanic consumers, new vehicle purchasers, government unemployment stats, and even the economy of China—all at the click of a mouse or the tap of a touch screen!

At the moment I have a domestic focus, and have been exploring our American Pulse InsightCenter, which takes a look at how Americans feel about the upcoming election, the economy, technology, and much more!

In just a few minutes, I was able to easily gather these fun facts:

  • Members of Generation Y are more likely than older generations to say they are addicted to the Internet and Facebook.
    • More Boomers than younger Americans say they are addicted to TV.
  • Men are more likely than women to be happier with the work life, and both genders’ happiness levels in the workplace are higher in 2012 than they were in 2011.
    • Women, however, are more likely than men to be happy or totally happy with their love lives.
  • In July, Hispanics were more likely than Whites and Blacks to thoroughly enjoy their lives rather than worrying about making money.
  • Members of Generation Y are more confident that the government’s economic policies will help lower unemployment, and their confidence is growing.
  • Neither Presidential candidate has a positive Net Promoter Score* among Likely Voters.
    • Obama, however, receives a higher score among Democrats than Romney does among Republicans.

Take a look for yourself and see what you can learn about the pulse of America: the people! And for the people, did I mention access to this InsightCenter is totally free? 🙂  (Just click the image to access the online version or download to your Android tablet!)


© 2012, Prosper®

*About the Net Promoter Score (NPS): Respondents were asked to rate, on a scale from 0 (Not at all likely) to 10 (Extremely likely), the probability they would recommend each presidential candidate to a friend or colleague. 10 and 9 responses indicate Promoters, 8 and 7 responses are Passives and 0 through 6 are Detractors. NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters.

Net Promoter, NPS and Net Promoter Score are trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company, and Fred Reichheld


Timeline: What’s behind consumers’ gloomy outlook in the New Year?

January 25, 2012 Leave a comment

In the past three years, Americans have lost confidence that the economy will make a full recovery. This year, 32.3% think the economy can rebound fully, an 8% drop from 35.1% who said so in January 2011 and a whopping 35% drop from the 49.7% who said so back in March 2009.

Why so gloomy, America?

Taking a look at the Vital Signs of the nation as well as a timeline of major economic events, you can really see the picture unfold (if only pictures were worth $1,000…oh wait, stimulus plans don’t help!)    

Three major instances occurred in the past 3 years that can shed some light on the dim view Americans’ have on the economy, and perhaps one can bring hope:

  • April, 2010 – BP Oil Spill– Although gas prices didn’t skyrocket after this event, pump prices have certainly continued to rise as the U.S. struggles to find cheaper ways to obtain fuel without threatening the environment (sorry Keystone XL pipeline). In January 2012, 73.1% say gas prices impact their spending. How are these consumers coping? Taking fewer shopping trips (40.8% say they do this in Jan 12) and shopping closer to home (also 40.8%) appear to correlate directly with the price of gas, implying that consumers have removed “joy ride” from their vocabulary.

    Click to Enlarge

  • October, 2009 – Unemployment Above 10% – This number was simply unheard of in a “healthy” economy, and after economists reported that the recession had ended in July, this simply made no sense. Currently, more than 1 in 4 (27.0%) is worried about more layoffs in the next 6 months while 51.0% expect the same. The “same” still means roughly 8.5% unemployment.
  • January 2009 – President Obama Inaugurated – In March 2009, nearly half (49.7%) believed the economy would rebound to its happy pre-recession days. Since then, this number has dropped considerably, as previously mentioned. Those with faith in recovery have increased only slightly since this past summer (2011), and there is a likely cause: another election is approaching! Optimism for rebound peaked shortly after an inaugural address in 2009 – can it do the same in 2013?

Only time will tell how Americans will feel after choosing a Commander in Chief – but feel free to keep an eye on them until then! Be sure to check out the Vital Signs InsightCenter™ for the latest consumer views on the economy, including a unique timeline of major events!

Source: Consumer Intentions & Actions® Survey, JAN-09-JAN-12
© 2012, Prosper®
BIGinsight™ is a trademark of Prosper Business Development.

BIG Call – October 2011

October 31, 2011 Leave a comment

Slides from the October BIG Call are now available!

John Mariotti was our special guest speaker this month. You can view his take on the latest data, including Confidence, Practicality, Personal Finances, the 90 Day Outlook, and Holiday 2011 Spending, by clicking through the slide show below.

To listen to the recorded webinar, click here.

© 2011, Prosper®

BIGinsight™ is a trademark of Prosper Business Development Corp.

Consumer Intentions & Actions: April (Part 1)

This month, I will be reviewing the latest big insights on confidence, practicality, and personal finance, as well as some timely data on how rising gas prices are affecting consumer spending.

Consumer Intentions & Actions: April

  • The April Consumer Intentions & Actions survey was collected April 5th through the 12th and includes the thoughts of about 8500 consumers.
  • We’ll be taking a look at:
    • Consumer Confidence;
    • Practical Purchasing, Focus on Needs over Wants, and Budget Plans;
    • Financial Plans;
    • The Effects of Escalating Pump Prices;
    • Finally, we’ll take a BIG Forward Look with 90 day purchase plans;


I always kick off this discussion with Consumer Confidence, a key indicator of consumer’s overall mood and how willing they are to spend. Let’s take a look at this data over two different time periods.

This first chart displays a 13 month snapshot of those who are very confident or confident.

As you can see, we are now in the third consecutive month of decline, with 28.6% who are confident or very confident in the economy.

This current reading is four points below April 2010 sentiment.

Comparing data back to 2004, you can clearly see the toll that the economic downturn has taken on the consumer psyche.

A year ago, it may have appeared that confidence was on an upswing, that maybe this was a turning point for recovery. But now, it seems that any improvement in confidence a year ago was more of a blip on the radar screen.


As I’m sure that you can imagine, consumers who have little faith in our economy aren’t exactly big spenders when it comes to shopping.

Each month, we ask “In the last 6 months, have you made any of the following changes?” Those “changes” I have displayed within this chart are:

  • I have become more practical and realistic in my purchases, which is the dark blue trend line
  • In light blue is I focus more on what I NEED rather than what I WANT.
  • And then in green is I have become more budget conscious.

As you can see, each of these attributes saw a slight uptick from March, reflecting declining optimism in confidence. Interestingly, this month’s figures are slightly below those from April 2010, when confidence was four points higher than it is now.


How can this be explained? Perhaps it’s that while consumers maintain a gritty view toward the economy, they are willing to “give in” – on occasion – when it comes to spending.

  • Maybe it’s that $4 cup of coffee;
  • A new outfit purchased on the sale rack;
  • Or a Saturday evening out.
  • Whatever the guilty pleasure may be, don’t look for consumers to overindulge or revert to pre-recession spending anytime soon. Nearly half of consumers still contend they are spending practically and more so are just focused on the necessities.


Check back later this week when I will continue the Consumer Intentions & Actions discussion. Up next, financial planning, pump prices and a look forward into future purchase plans!

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