About 10% more US adults say the economy is in a recession today (43%) than did in 2010 (39%), according to a new survey from Deloitte. Data from the “2011 Spring Consumer Pulse Survey” also indicates a 5% drop in the percentage of adults saying the economy is in a recent recovery (52%) from 2010 (55%), with the percentage saying they don’t know dropping about 17% (from 6% to 5%).
1 in 3 Adults Spending Less Than 1-2 Yrs Ago
A number of figures from the survey indicate many Americans are still feeling negative effects of recent economic upheavals. For example, about one in three (35%) adults is still spending less than they were one to two years ago, while a little more than half (52%) say it doesn’t seem like the recession is over, despite what economists say.
In addition, about one in four (24%) adults say housing-related problems have caused reductions in household spending and about one in five (19%) say someone in their household has been looking for a job for more than a year.
Spending Outlook Drops Slightly
Survey respondents are less optimistic about their future spending than they were a year ago. Forty-two percent expect to spend less this year than last year, up 10.5% from 38% in 2010. Thirty-eight percent expect to spend the same, down 15.5% from 45% last year.
In one bright spot, 20% of respondents expect to spend more, up about 10% from 18% in 2010. However, in total 58% of respondents expect to spend more or the same, down 8% from 63% in 2010.
Inflation, Energy Top Concerns
Inflation and energy are overwhelmingly the two issues that US adults see as holding back their household spending in the coming months. Seventy-four percent of respondents cited inflation, and 71% mentioned higher energy prices. The next-most-popular response, higher medical bills, only concerned 47% of respondents.
It is also worth noting 53% of respondents agreed with the statement, “new spring merchandise seems to have higher prices.”
Paying Debt Number One Plan for Tax Refunds
About six in 10 (59%) US adults expect an income tax refund this year. Of those adults, 46% plan to use the refund money to pay off bills or credit card debt. Another 40% plan to save it and 34% plan to pay for general living expenses. Only 13% will put the money toward travel, while 8% plan to pay for a home remodeling project.
Fiscal Issues Most Worry Americans
Seven in 10 Americans (71%) say they worry about the economy “a great deal,” more than worry about 13 other issues measured in a March 2011 Gallup poll. In addition, nearly two in three (64%) worry a great deal about federal spending and the budget deficit.