Consumers Worried After Wall Street Meltdown
Six in Ten Americans (60%) Doubt Government's Ability to Restore Consumer and Investor Confidence
Public is Virtually Unanimous that Recent Events Will Have a Negative Effect (90%), and Most (76%) Believe the Home Mortgage Crisis Will Continue To Get Worse
Friday, September 19, 2008
Washington, DC – A new Ipsos/McClatchy poll of Americans indicates that the recent Wall Street meltdown has significantly weakened consumer confidence. Six in ten Americans (60%) are not very or not at all confident that the government can restore the confidence of consumers and investors after recent events.
Immediate Effect is Negative…
In thinking about the effect recent events will have on jobs and the economy, Americans are nearly unanimous in perceiving a negative effect – nine in ten Americans (90%) believe the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch sale will have a negative effect on the economy, with only 10% believing events will have a positive effect.
Hard Times Still to Come…
The poll also indicates a perception that recent events are not isolated, but will persist at least in the short term. Three quarters (76%) of Americans believe the home mortgage crisis will continue to get worse; only one quarter (24%) feel the worst of the mortgage crisis is over and things will begin to improve.
Residents of the Northeast (84%) and those earning under $50,000 a year (80%) are more likely to believe the mortgage crisis will continue to worsen.
Effects Not Limited to Mortgage Sector…
Looking forward, Americans are also pessimistic about the state of the overall U.S. economy. Only one in five (18%) believe the U.S. economy will be better off six months from now; just over one third (36%) see the economy about the same as now, and nearly half (45%) believe the economy will be worse off six months from now.
Men (23%), those earning $50,000 a year or more (23%) and college degree-holders (29%) are more likely to believe the economy will be better off in six months, while residents of the Northeast (57%) are more likely to believe the economy will be worse off six months from now.
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted September 16-17, 2008. For this survey, a national sample of 647 adults aged 18 or older from Ipsos’ U.S. online panel, are interviewed online. Weighting is then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual U.S. adult population according to census data and to provide results that are intended to approximate the sample universe. An unweighted probability sample of 647 respondents, with a 100% response rate, has an estimated margin of error of +/-3.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
For more information on this news release, please contact:
Clifford Young, PhD
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Public Affairs
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