Tampa Bay Area Consumer Confidence
The objective of this study was to determine the Tampa Bay public’s attitudes towards the economy.
The results of this study are based on 448 responses from members of the Tampa Bay Media Advisory Panel. Interviewing was conducted online June 16-29, 2009. Panelists were emailed invitations to participate in the survey. A total of 896 invitations were sent, yielding a response rate of 50 percent. The demographic profile of Tampa Bay Media Advisory Panel who responded to this survey represents a cross section of consumers, 18 years & older residing in the Tampa Bay area (Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando Counties).
Results of this study are compared to similar surveys conducted by telephone in September 2008 and July 2007. Although survey methodology varies from the recent panel survey and previous telephone surveys – the study does provide us with some trends over the past two years.
Consumer confidence and expectations for the future continue to decline among Tampa-area adults, both for the nation and the Tampa Bay area. A growing majority say they are now worse off financially than a year ago and are split whether they will be any better off next year.
Adults are less likely than a year ago to say businesses, both nationally and in the Tampa Bay area, are in for good times during the next 12 months and a growing percentage who said in previous studies that business would improve are now unsure.
And while relatively few adults see the U.S. in a depression, almost half foresee periods of widespread unemployment nationally over the next five years and almost six in 10 see widespread unemployment in the Tampa Bay area.
These are some of the findings from an online study among members of the Tampa Bay Media Advisory Panel.
MEASURING CONSUMER CONFIDENCE AND BUSINESS EXPECTATIONS
Key consumer confidence indicators continue to decline compared with previous research conducted by the Florida Communications Group Market Development Department.
In addition, there appears to be a growing uncertainty about what the future holds in store.
Are You Better Off Now Compared to a Year Ago?
A declining percentage of consumers say they are better off today than a year ago while an increasing percentage say they are worse.
- Six percent say they are better off than a year ago, compared with 11 percent in September 2008
- 57 percent say they are worse off, compared with 47 percent nine months earlier
Even among “optimistic adults,” those who say they will be better off financially a year from now, almost half (47%) say they are worse off now than a year ago.
Consumers are a little more uncertain about what lies ahead.
About equal percentages say they will be better off financially a year from now (27%) as say they will be worse off (23%).
These ratings are very similar to a year ago.
The percentage who expects to be “just about the same” financially has declined to 35 percent from 49 percent, primarily because the percentage who aren’t sure has more than tripled.
Business Expectations Also Off
There is also less optimism and more uncertainty about what lies ahead for business, nationally and locally.
Panel members are 38 percent less likely than last September to say the nation’s businesses will enjoy good times during the next 12 months.
The percentage who predict bad times (59%) is statistically identical to 2008 while those who are not sure (23%) have more than doubled; again, indicating an increase in uncertainty about the economic future.
Attitudes about future business conditions in the Tampa Bay area mirror national results.
The percentage predicting good times has declined dramatically while those who predict bad times (the majority) remain unchanged. A significantly higher percentage of adults (24%) aren’t sure.
Focusing On The Economy
This lack of optimism is also reflected when respondents were asked about the economy, both national and in the Tampa Bay area.
The percentage of adults who predict “good times” economically for the nation during the next five years has declined dramatically, to 28 percent from 41 percent last September.
Consumers are not more likely than a year ago to predict a depression, however, almost half (48%) expect periods of widespread unemployment nationally.
There has been a significant decline in the percentage of consumers who predict good economic times for the Tampa Bay area (29 percent from 45 percent a year ago) while almost six in ten (59%) predict periods of widespread unemployment over the next five years.
A Good Time To Buy
Consumers are almost evenly split whether this is a good time to make major household purchases.
- 44 percent say this is a good time to buy major household goods
- 48 percent say this is a bad time
The results are significantly different than September 2008 when almost seven in 10 adults (68%) said it was a bad time to purchase. Results are, however, very similar to 2007.
A majority of upper income adults say this is a good time to buy household goods while those who are less affluent disagree.
Entry filed under: Market Conditions.