SOURCE: BIGresearch

August 09, 2007 13:25 ET

BIGresearch's August Survey: Confidence Wilts, Expectations for Higher Gas Prices Continue but Future Purchase Plans Remain Strong

COLUMBUS, OH--(Marketwire - August 9, 2007) - Consumer confidence is down in August, according to BIGresearch's ( monthly Consumer Intentions & Actions Survey (CIA). Confidence declined to 43.8% from July when it was at 47.8%. However, the August number is still higher than August 06 when confidence was 38.6%.

"Consumers seem to be feeling a bit of economic anxiety; they want to be optimistic but seem concerned about their financial situation and appear pessimistic over the future price of gas and increased layoffs," said Gary Drenik, President & CEO of BIGresearch. "In spite of this, consumers' mood towards spending over the next 90 days is holding when compared to August 06," said Drenik.

Some of the other key economic mood findings from the survey include (versus July numbers in parenthesis):

Focused more on needs over wants in purchasing          46.5%   (47.4%)
More layoffs next 6 months                              33.3%   (31.4%)
Current financial situation worse off than a year ago   31.7%   (N/A)
Top financial plan - "paying down debt"                 33.1%   (33.8%)

Consumers continue to cast a wary eye on the price of gas and when asked what price a gallon of gas would be on Labor Day, they said an average of $3.14. More than half (61.1%) felt gas prices would rise by Labor Day, 31.4% said they would stay the same and 7.4% were optimistic and believed the price would decline.

Shopping strategies appear to be evolving towards a price orientation as 17.8% cited only buying clothing when on sale, versus 13.7% who said sales are not important when buying clothing. However, familiar brands continue to increase in importance when buying clothing, with 42.5% saying so (versus 39.5% in August 06).

Future purchase plans (next 6 months) for most big ticket durables were up from August 06 for computers, furniture, appliances, jewelry, TVs, digital cameras and vacation travel.

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About BIGresearch

BIGresearch is a market intelligence firm providing analysis of consumer behavior in areas of retail, financial services, automotive, and media. They conduct the Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey (CIA) which monitors the pulse of more than 8,000 consumers each month. BIGresearch's syndicated Simultaneous Media Survey (SIMM) is focused on consumers to gauge their consumption across media, products and services. Marketers can use SIMM to develop the types of consumer-centric marketing plans required to increase advertisers' ROI. The SIMM monitors more than 15,000 consumers twice each year.

BIGresearch's methodology provides the most accurate consumer information in the industry with a margin of error of +/- 1 percent.

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