Thursday, August 13, 2009

News That Doesn't Depress You: Consumer Confidence Is Up

The following is from Rasmussen...

The Rasmussen Consumer Index, which measures the economic confidence of consumers on a daily basis, rose a tenth of a point on Thursday peaking yet again to its highest reading so far this year. At 80.0, the index is also at its highest level since September 17, 2008, just days after the Lehman Brothers collapse and the start of the financial crisis. Today's reading is up five points over the past week and up eight points over the past month. Consumer confidence is now up 20 points from the beginning of 2009.

The Rasmussen index had been trending down for some time. The chart below plots it from January 2008 through July 2009.

Click on the Chart For a Larger Image

The daily tracking poll (shown below) starting picking up in August as the media began reporting good news and the politicians realized that talking down the economy was impeding passage of favored legislation and thus, began exuding upbeat dialogue.

Click on the Chart For a Larger Image

The bottom line for you is that consumer confidence has returned to the same level it was before the financial meltdown. People are feeling better about things, though there's still caution. In this atmosphere, consumers will continue to seek value.

To encourage spending, continue to offer coupons, sales, and special promotions. In personal selling situations, stress the long term investment return from reduced energy expense, greater home valuations, and so on. While people ALWAYS want to indulge themselves, today they want a practical rationale underlying their indulgences. Present your products and services as smart moves and you will help consumers give themselves permission to buy what they want.

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