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New Nielsen Survey Details Consumer Sentiment on Economy

Schaumberg, Ill. The majority (86%) of U.S. consumers believe the country is currently in a recession and more than half (54% ) believe it will last longer than 12 months, according to a new online survey conducted by The Nielsen Co.

The survey found that the least amount of confidence as to when the recession would end was expressed by 25-to-29-year-olds.

“Younger consumers grew up in an age of prosperity and have never really known economic challenges to this extent,” said James Russo, VP, marketing, The Nielsen Co.

Younger consumers have more time to rebuild their finances and position themselves for growth, Russo said.

“It is worth noting, however, that older consumers, while understandably concerned, control nearly three-quarters of the net worth in the United States, and have done a better job of managing their finances with higher savings rates and lower debt rates,” he added.

Other survey findings include:

  • Only 18% of U.S. consumers believe the recession will be over within a year, with the least amount of confidence expressed by 25-to-29-year-olds.

  • More women (91%) than men (82%) feel the U.S. economy is in recession.

  • Thirty-eight percent of U.S. consumers surveyed consider the economy their biggest concern over the next six months, followed by increasing fuel prices, debt, increasing utility bills, increasing food prices and job security.

  • More than two-thirds (67%) of U.S. consumers are trying to save on gas and electricity, while more than half (56 %) say they are cutting back on out-of-home entertainment, spending less on new clothes (55%) and using their car less often (54%). Only 4% report taking no action at all to cope with economic woes.