by Jharonne Martis.
A new Refinitiv Ipsos survey conducted on March 24-25 finds that U.S. consumer sentiment fell sharply in the past few weeks, in the environment of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, two thirds of adults surveyed say that, compared to six months ago, they are less comfortable making a major purchase like a home or a car (67%) and other household purchases (66%).
Jharonne Martis, Director of Consumer Research at Refinitiv, said, “More U.S. consumers are filing for unemployment due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is causing the overall Refinitiv Ipsos consumer sentiment to decline as consumers worry about their current conditions, employment and financial investments.”
Here are the detailed findings:
Overall consumer confidence
With an index score of 46.0, overall consumer confidence this week is almost 15 points lower than it was just a few weeks ago (60.9) (Exhibit 1).
Exhibit 1: Overall Refinitiv Ipsos Consumer Confidence Index
The drop in consumer confidence
The drop in overall consumer sentiment is most driven by a decline in confidence about current conditions, the jobs situation and outlook, and the investment climate.
Today, 67% say they are less comfortable making a major purchase, like a home or car, compared to six months ago.
Compared to six months ago, 66% say they are less comfortable making another major purchase now.
The data used for the Consumer Confidence index and sub-indices is based on the following questions:
About the Study
These findings are based on data from an Ipsos survey conducted March 24-25, 2020 with a sample of 970 adults aged 18-74 from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii who were interviewed online in English.
The sample was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel, partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2016 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education.
Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online non-probability polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=970, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-5.0 percentage points).
Findings from previous time periods going back to March 2011 are based on data from Refinitiv /Ipsos’ Primary Consumer Sentiment Index (PCSI) collected in a monthly survey on Ipsos’ Global Advisor online survey platform with the same questions. For the PCSI survey, Ipsos interviews a total of 1,000+ U.S. adults aged 18-74. The Refinitiv/Ipsos Primary Consumer Sentiment Index (PCSI), ongoing since 2010, is a monthly survey of consumer attitudes on the current and future state of local economies, personal finance situations, savings and confidence to make large investments. The PCSI metrics reported each month consist of a “Primary Index” based on 10 questions available upon request and of several “sub-indices” each based on a subset of these 10 questions. Those sub-indices include a Current Index, an Expectations Index, an Investment Index and a Jobs Index.
Findings for January 2002- February 2011 are based on data from the RBC CASH Index, a monthly telephone survey of 1,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older conducted by Ipsos with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.