Your Federal Quarterly Tax Payments are due April 15th Get Help Now >>

SPRI Consumer Confidence Survey by BayAreaNewsGroup


									                                                                         San José State University
                                                                          One Washington Square
                                                                         San José, CA 95192-0119

Dr. Melinda Jackson, Research Director 
PLEASE CONTACT FOR FURTHER COMMENT:              Office 408.924.5293 Cell 408.876.8792


SAN JOSE, APRIL 15 – California consumer confidence is down from one year ago, falling
to a historic low, a new statewide survey by the Survey and Policy Research Institute at
San Jose State University shows.

The overall Index of Consumer Sentiment, which combines assessments of current
conditions and future expectations for personal finances and business conditions for the
country as a whole, now stands at 68.8 among California residents. Index numbers
below 100 indicate that negative perceptions outweigh positive. This represents a five-
point drop from 73.8 one year ago in April 2009.

The current negativity is driven mainly by the dismal ratings of current economic
conditions (CEC Index) at 59.5, nearly 7 points lower than April 2009. Expectations for
the future, as measured by the Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE) have also
dropped, falling four points from 78.6 in April 2009 to 74.7 this March.

  NOTE: The Index of Consumer Sentiment (ICS) combines consumer perceptions about Current
          Economic Conditions (CEC) and the Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE).
            Index numbers = % positive responses - % negative responses + 100.


When asked about their current financial situation compared to one year ago, 50% of
Californians said they were worse off today, and just 14% said they were better off,
while 33% volunteered that they were doing about the same. Looking ahead, 35% of
Californians said they expected to be better off a year from now, 45% said they expected
their finances to be about the same, and just 13% thought they would be worse off.

With regard to business conditions in the country as a whole, 43% of Californians said
they expected bad times ahead in the next 12 months, while 27% said they expected
good times. Long-term expectations were also pessimistic, with 33% saying they
thought the country would see good economic times during the next five years, but a
plurality of 40% saying they expected to see widespread unemployment and depression.

Current buying conditions were judged to be good by 31% of Californians, while 44%
thought it was a bad time to buy major household items.

“Californians are definitely feeling the effects of this recession, and are not optimistic
about a quick recovery,” said Survey and Policy Research Institute Research Director Dr.
Melinda Jackson, “Looking ahead, people are not very hopeful about business conditions
or their own situations over the next year.”

             Index numbers = % positive responses - % negative responses + 100.


SPRI also asked respondents if they believed California is in an economic recession –
91% said yes, unchanged from one year ago. Of those, 63% said they think it is a
serious recession, 25% a moderate recession, and 10% a mild recession.

When asked how much longer they think the economic recession will last, just 4% of
Californians said less than one year, 38% said 1-2 years, 40% said 3-5 years, and 14%
said more than 5 years. These expectations are more pessimistic than one year ago,
when 9% of Californians thought the recession would last less than one year, 46% said
1-2 years, 29% said 3-5 years, and 13% said more than 5 years.

           In addition, forty-three percent of Californians said that they are concerned that they or
           someone in their family will lose their job in the next year, while an almost equal number
           (44%) said they are not concerned about this.


           Overall, California consumer confidence is slightly lower than in the nation as a whole.
           The national Index of Consumer Sentiment stood at 73.6 in March, as measured by the
           University of Michigan’s Survey of Consumers. The same Index of Consumer Sentiment
           stood at 68.8 among Californians, 4.8 points lower than the country as a whole.

           As has historically been the case, however, Silicon Valley residents are more optimistic
           than the rest of the state and the nation. Among Silicon Valley residents, the overall
           Index of Consumer Sentiment stood at 75.9 in March, compared to 68.8 for California as
           a whole. In Silicon Valley, assessments of current economic conditions for the country
           were higher (66.7) than the state as a whole (59.5), and future expectations were seven
           index points higher, at 81.7 in Silicon Valley versus 74.7 statewide.

Index                 Consumer Sentiment            Current Economic Conditions             Consumer Expectations
                            (ICS)                              (CEC)                               (ICE)
2009/10           April   Oct 09 March 10          April 09     Oct 09  March 10         April 09   Oct 09     March 10
Silicon Valley    76.2      76.2      75.9           64.8       68.6         66.7            83.4   81.0        81.7
CA                73.8        --      68.8           66.3       --           59.5            78.6   --          74.7
US                61.9      70.6      73.6           66.6       73.7         82.4            58.9   68.6        67.9

                        Index numbers = % positive responses - % negative responses + 100
                        US index numbers from University of Michigan’s Survey of Consumers


As has been the case over the past year, future expectations among Silicon Valley
residents are significantly higher than assessments of current economic conditions. In
March, the Current Economic Conditions (CEC) index at 66.7 remains 15 points below the
Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE) at 81.7, among those in Silicon Valley.

Future expectations in Silicon Valley have remained fairly steady through the current
recession, ranging between 81 and 83 index points over the past year.

                                                                                 Current conditions
                                                                                     fall below
                           Expectations fall below                                 expectations
                             current conditions


Silicon Valley residents were also asked about business conditions in Silicon Valley
specifically. Current business conditions in Silicon Valley were seen as worse compared
to a year ago by 47% of residents, and 30% expected the bad economic times to
continue over the next 12 months. However, 42% of Silicon Valley residents thought
that the Valley’s economy would improve over the next 12 months, and 20% thought
that it would be mixed good and bad.

Looking ahead to one year from now, expectations are higher, with 48% of Silicon Valley
residents saying they expect business conditions in the Valley to be better than now,
36% expecting them to be about the same, and just 10% saying they thought they
would be worse.

“These numbers show a significant improvement in opinion about the Silicon Valley economy
over the last year,” said Survey and Policy Research Institute Research Director Melinda Jackson,
“There is definitely more optimism here compared to the rest of the state, which reflects the
spirit of innovation the Valley is known for worldwide.”

The Survey and Policy Research Institute at San José State University conducted the Spring 2010
Silicon Valley Pulse Survey March 16-31, 2010. This telephone survey of 884 California adults
was conducted in English and Spanish, and contained questions on several different topics
including consumer attitudes and political issues. The survey also included an oversample of 577
Silicon Valley residents, to allow for separate analysis.

Some telephone numbers included in this sample were randomly generated by computer to
ensure that both listed and unlisted numbers were included, from all landline exchanges in Silicon
Valley; others were randomly selected from the list of registered voters in Santa Clara County.
Telephone numbers in the survey sample were called up to four times at different times and days
to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households.

The sampling error for the total sample is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points at the 95%
confidence level. For the subsample of 577 Silicon Valley residents, the margin of error is plus or
minus 4.08 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. Results were statistically weighted by
region, race and gender to match recent U.S. Census estimates of the California and Silicon
Valley populations.

Survey respondents were reached by both cell phone and landline phone. Approximately 7% of
respondents indicated that they use only a cell phone, and another 18% said that they primarily
use their cell phone. Another 36% of the sample reported using a cell phone and landline
equally, 23% said they primarily used a landline, and 13% reported using only a landline phone.

Silicon Valley is defined as all of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, plus Fremont, Newark, and
Union City in Alameda County, and Scotts Valley in Santa Cruz County. This follows the
geographic definition of Silicon Valley used by Joint Venture Silicon Valley in their annual Silicon
Valley Index.

The California Consumer Confidence portion of the Spring 2010 Silicon Valley Pulse survey was
sponsored by the San José State University Colleges of Social Science and Business, and
Orchard Supply Hardware.

                                                           9. Would you say that California is in an economic
                                                           recession, or not? [If yes: Do you think it is in a
1. We are interested in how people are getting
                                                           serious, a moderate, or a mild recession?]
along financially these days. Would you say that
                                                                                                 CA        SV
you (and your family living there) are better off or
                                                             Yes, serious recession              57%       55%
worse off financially than you were a year ago?
                                                             Yes, moderate recession             23        27
                            CA       SV
                                                             Yes, mild recession                 9         8
  Better off                14%      17%
                                                             No                                  5         6
  Same (volunteered)        33       37
                                                             Don’t know (vol.)                   4         2
  Worse off                 50       44
  Don't know (vol.)          2        2
                                                           10. How much longer do you think the economic
2. Now looking ahead - do you think that a year
                                                           recession will last? [if yes to Q9]
from now you (and your family living there) will be
                                                                                               CA    SV
better off financially, or worse off, or just about
                                                             Less than one year                 4%    4%
the same as now?
                                                             1-2 years                         38    38
                             CA        SV
                                                             3-5 years                         40    39
   Better off                35%       36%
                                                             More than 5 years                 14    13
   Same as now               45        45
                                                             Don’t know (vol.)                  3     5
   Worse off                 13        13
   Don't know (vol.)          7         6
                                                           11. Are you concerned that you or someone in
                                                           your family will lose their job in the next year, or
3. Now turning to business conditions in the
                                                           not? [If yes: Are you very concerned or
country as a whole - do you think that during the
                                                           somewhat concerned about this?]
next 12 months we'll have good times financially,
                                                                                                 CA        SV
or bad times, or what?
                                                             Yes, very concerned                 25%       25%
                           CA       SV
                                                             Yes, somewhat concerned             18        16
  Good Times               27%      37%
                                                             No                                  44        48
  Good and Bad (vol.)      21       19
                                                             Have lost job already (vol.)         9         8
  Bad Times                43       35
                                                             Don’t know (vol.)                    4         4
  Don't know (vol.)         9        9
                                                           [Q12-14 asked of Silicon Valley residents only]
4. Looking ahead, which would you say is more
likely: that in the country as a whole we'll have
                                                           12. Thinking now about Silicon Valley specifically,
continuous good times during the next five years
                                                           do you think that during the next 12 months we'll
or so, or that we will have periods of widespread
                                                           have good times financially, or bad times, or
unemployment or depression, or what?
                                     CA        SV
                                                             Good                     42%
   Continuous good times             33%       39%
                                                             Good and bad (vol.)      20
   Stay about the same (vol.)        19        18
                                                             Bad                      30
   Widespread unemployment/
                                                             Don't know (vol.)         8
     depression                      40        34
   Don't know (vol.)                  9         8
                                                           13. Would you say that at the present time,
                                                           business conditions in Silicon Valley are better or
5. About the big things people buy for their homes
                                                           worse than they were a year ago?
- such as furniture, a refrigerator, stove,
                                                             Better Now                 38%
television, and things like that. Generally speaking
                                                             Same (vol.)                11
do you think now is a good or bad time for people
                                                             Worse Now                  47
to buy major household items?
                                                             Don't know                  4
                             CA        SV
   Good                      31%       36%
                                                           14. How about a year from now? Do you expect
   Good and Bad (vol.)       14        17
                                                           that business conditions in Silicon Valley will be
   Bad                       44        38
                                                           better or worse than they are at present, or just
   Don't know (vol.)         11         9
                                                           about the same?
                                                             Better than now           49%
                                                             Same                      36
                                                             Worse than now            10
                                                             Don't know                 5


To top