Consumers tell Nielsen the recession has begun


The TV ratings company surveys the public about lots of other things as well. An online survey by The Nielsen Company finds that 85% of US consumers believe the country is in a recession. Despite that, most think their own financial affairs are “good” or “excellent.”

As you would expect, many Americans are worried about the state of the economy over the coming months. 35% consider the economy their biggest concern over the next six months. Debt comes in a distant second place at 15%, followed by work/life balance at 8%. International affairs, such as war and terrorism, rank near the bottom of the list. Even immigration, a hot button political issue, is only cited by 2% of respondents.


“With high gas prices, food inflation and other economic pressures, it’s not a surprise that the economy is a top concern for many Americans. Consumers have many reasons to feel pessimistic right now and even if we’re not officially in a recession, consumers certainly feel like we’re in one,” said David Parma, global head of Customized Research, The Nielsen Company.

Overall, Americans’ view of the economy is bleak. 66% of respondents have a pessimistic view of their local job prospects over the next 12 months, with 50% saying it’s “not so good,” and 16% calling it downright “bad.” Just 3% consider it “excellent.”

Despite their negative view of the nation’s overall economy, most people think their own financial affairs are more healthy. More than half (51%) say the state of their personal finances remains “excellent” or “good,” while just over one-third (36%) rank their situation as “not so good.”

For the most part, Nielsen found that US consumers are not convinced the world will enter a global recession sometime in the next 12 months. 38% say they don’t believe it will take place, while 46% “don’t know.” Just 15% say a global recession is definitely on the horizon.