Survey: Most Consumers Think the Economy Is in 'Bad' or 'Terrible' Shape

Nearly 25 percent think It will be difficult to purchase needed items over the next several months

We've been hearing a lot lately on how well folks are doing financially. Well, that may or may not be the case. 

A new survey by RetailMeNot.com, the largest U.S. online coupon site, finds that 71% of consumers have a dismal view of the economy. Further, 1 in 4 are worried about being able to make all the necessary purchases in the coming months. Only 3% of respondents felt that the economy is in "good shape." 

"Our most recent survey looked at how consumers plan to shop for the remainder of the year. We believe a lackluster economy combined with high demand for discounts while shopping will lead to more frequent and higher first-time use of coupons over time," said Kristen Remeza, editor-in-chief of RetailMeNot Insider. "As shopping for the holidays -- in-store and online -- begins to gain steam, there are two other findings of note: First, nearly a third of consumers -- 31% -- intend to do their holiday shopping online in 2012. Second, 39% of consumers start their holiday shopping before November." 

The results of the survey found these shopping behaviors for the upcoming "holiday" shopping period: 

  • 39% of respondents start their holiday shopping before November.
  • Women (46%) are more likely than men (31%) to start their shopping earlier than November.
  • 23% of respondents start shopping in early November, 12% wait to start shopping until Black Friday/Cyber Monday and only 15% wait until after Cyber Monday to begin shopping.
  • 54% of respondents finish their holiday shopping sometime between Black Friday and when they actually give away the gift during the holidays.
  • Nearly 1 in 3 respondents (32%) say they are done with their holiday shopping by the end of Cyber Monday.
  • Women (58%) are more likely than men (50%) to say they tend to finish their holiday shopping after Cyber Monday.
  • Nearly a third of respondents (31%) intend to do their holiday shopping online in 2012 vs. a majority who intend to shop in-store (59%).
  • More than 70% of consumers (71%) think the economy is in "bad" or "terrible" shape.
  • A quarter (25%) believe that the economy is in "okay" shape, and fewer than 1 in 20 think that it is in "good" (3%) or "fantastic" (1%) shape.
  • Those 55 years old and over have a particularly negative view of the economy, with nearly 8 in 10 respondents (78%) saying that it is in "bad" or "terrible" shape – including 37% who think it is in terrible shape -- compared to 61% of those under 35.
  • Nearly 1 in 4 (24%) feel it will be difficult to purchase things they need over the next several months.
  • 4 in 10 respondents (40%) say that they should be able to get most of what they need in the coming months, but not be able to afford it all.
  • Only about a third of respondents (36%) are not worried about being able to buy all the things they need in the coming months.
Story provided by ConsumerAffairs.
Consumer Affairs

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