Almost two-thirds of Americans believe a “double-dip” recession is imminent. And that’s not nearly all, according to a recent survey.
The survey, which was conducted by StrategyOne, polled more than a thousand American consumers. Among the 65% who believed a double-dip recession (which could only be brought on by two more consecutive quarters of negative economic growth) was imminent:
- 44% believe the second wave of recession will be worse than the first
- 21% believe it could be “much more severe,” and
- 23% doubt the U.S. economy will ever fully recover.
Still, when pressed, 52% of those polled said they felt America’s best days were still ahead – a sign that while recent headlines and warning signs may have consumers thinking gloom and doom, there’s still a strong sense of optimism for the future.
The bottom line: American consumers are keeping their purse strings tight for the time being. In addition to the 41% of consumers who say they plan to cut back spending over the next 3-4 months:
- 35% say they plan to spend less online (only 12% plan to increase their online spending)
- nearly 80% say they plan to spend less during the holiday season
- 87% say they plan to roll back or avoid big-ticket purchases, and
- 26% don’t expect their personal finances to fully recover until after 2011 (just as many doubt their finances will ever make a full recovery).
Perhaps the best thing salespeople and marketers can do to weather the storm is remind skeptical prospects:
- The U.S. economy has made slow, steady gains over the past several quarters, indicating progress, and, more importantly, ensuring that a double-dip recession isn’t even possible over the next several months.
- Layoffs are down, the majority of companies have lifted their hiring freezes and most corporate sectors are on the mend.
- It’s never been more crucial to buy (or invest) in American companies than it is right now. The more consumers invest, the better chance the U.S. economy has of growing (a true win-win).