Consumer News & Views
In this Issue…
Consumer Confidence Drops in May. How Will Consumers React as the Election Approaches?
The economy is like that old doctor-patient joke:
Doctor: I have some good news and I have some bad
So, here’s the good news. According to The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index®, which had declined slightly in April, it only fell 4 points further in May. The Index now stands at 64.9 (1985=100), down from 68.7 in April.
The bad news is summer is fast approaching and consumers are looking for some good news as the presidential and congressional election season kicks-off. Unfortunately, there isn’t much good news for consumers, economically speaking.
Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, explained the drop stating, "Consumers were less positive about current business and labor market conditions, and they were more pessimistic about the short-term outlook. However, consumers were more upbeat about their income prospects, which should help sustain spending.”
Thomas Hinton, president of the American Consumer Council echoed Franco’s sentiments stating, “What consumers continue to experience is a very sluggish economic recovery that has dragged on now for 18 months. This so-called recovery is moving at a snail’s pace and it’s very frustrating to consumers causing us to be less optimistic with each passing month.”
Hinton added, “In the near-term, consumers will be less upbeat about the economy because the major issues of unemployment, under-employment, upside-down mortgages, home foreclosures and the stock market uncertainty have not yet been fully addressed or resolved. Consumers are looking for some positive signs but those silver linings in the economic clouds are far and few between.”
According to Hinton and the American Consumer Council, a majority of consumers don’t blame President Obama for the nation’s economic mess that he inherited, but they’re anxious for him to fix it. The bad news, according to the American Consumer Council, is there’s no quick fix because too many key issues remain unresolved. Hinton summed up consumer frustration by noting, “Until we begin to see robust employment growth and more hiring, consumer confidence will remain flat at best through the summer.”
So, what does all this mean for candidates Obama and Romney as the presidential election heats up? Unless there is a major meltdown in the financial markets as a result of Greece rejecting the reforms put forward by the European Union, or some other international catastrophe occurs that puts President Obama on the defensive, consumers will most likely continue to go along with the status quo hoping the president can fix the economic mess and keep the economy moving forward albeit at a snail’s pace. As one consumer told us, “Some good news is better than more bad news for President Obama’s re-election chances.”
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The predecessor of Transamerica Life Insurance Company was founded in 1906. With more than a century of experience, Transamerica has built a reputation on solid management, sound decisions and consumer confidence. In 1999, Transamerica was acquired by AEGON N.V.
High Industry Ratings:
Consistently high ratings are a direct reflection of the care with which Transamerica manages its business. Transamerica's life insurance subsidiaries have received high ratings from the industry's most respected independent rating services.
The American Consumer council is proud to have Transamerica as its exclusive corporate sponsor for financial and insurance solutions to consumers.
Green CSM Certification Accepting Applications for 2012 Summer Cycle:
If your company or organization would like to increase its credibility with consumers, you should consider applying for the Green CSM Certification. Applications for the 2012 Summer cycle are now being accepted through August 31, 2012.
It's a proven fact that consumers want to do business with companies that are eco-friendly and practice Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The process is straight-forward and all applicants are recognized by ACC and the Green USA Institute.
All applicants complete the criteria and submit their responses to ACC's Green Consumer Council for review, assessment and feedback. Program details and the Green CSM Certification criteria can be viewed at ACC's website located at: http://americanconsumercouncil.org/greenc.asp