Twenty-Eight Percent Living Paycheck to Paycheck
By George Anderson
No surprise, but many Americans are just making ends meet. According to a recent Online Consumer Confidence Study by ACNielsen (a sponsor of RetailWire), 28 percent of Americans have no spare cash leftover from their paychecks after they’ve paid for their essential living expenses.
Many of those who do have extra cash after paying for the basics are putting it towards paying down existing debt. Thirty-seven percent say they are using leftover money to pay for various debts including credit cards and loans.
Paying for everyday necessities and debt has left those consumers with extra money less of it to spend on home entertainment, clothing and new technology. The one area where consumers are putting extra dollars is into home improvements and decorating.
Tom Markert, ACNielsen’s chief marketing and client service officer, said, “On a daily basis, Americans are exposed to two competing messages: ‘A strong economy is dependent upon strong consumer spending;’ and ‘Your consumer debt levels are too high.’ Historically, the first message has driven consumer behavior more so than the second one. Lately, it seems, the second message is starting to get some traction.”
Of greatest concern to consumers at the moment is the economic outlook followed by job security and health issues. These three issues were listed by 60 percent of respondents as their biggest concern over the next six months.
|What is your biggest concern over the next six months?||
Source: ACNielsen Online Consumer Confidence Study
Moderator’s Comment: What is your analysis of the findings by ACNielsen in its Online Consumer Confidence Study? What does it mean for consumer product
marketers and retailers?
ACNielsen’s Markert said of the Online Consumer Confidence Study’s findings, “Overall, this research paints a cautionary picture for the U.S. economy. While
Americans may never be world leaders when it comes to savings, there appears to be a growing interest in reducing debt which brings with it a reduction in spending on some of
the more discretionary areas such as entertainment and clothing.” –
George Anderson – Moderator