BCI - Financial Optimism Index April 2013


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How people feel about their financial prospects is key to much of their behavior. Each month The British Consumer Monitor tests the financial mood of the nation by asking people how they think their personal financial position will be in three months’ time. We ask it on a 5 point scale from Much Better to Much Worse and set the answers against all the other data we collect about them.

This means that not only can we tell the mood of the different sections of the population but, by linking it to other modules, we can see the likely effect on things like purchase behavior and influences to purchase.

We can even link it to Marketing Communication Channel preferences and, of course, all the geodemographic segmentation models.

Published in: Business, Economy & Finance
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BCI - Financial Optimism Index April 2013

  1. 1. © DataTalk Research Ltd May 2013 Page 1BCI – Financial Optimism Index; April 2013The Index of British Consumers views on their Personal Financial ProspectsConfidence about Financial Prospects Remains Volatile in AprilThe British Consumer Index has today (14 May 2013) released the latest Financial Optimism Index.Overall 84% of people do not think that there financial situation will get any better but, on a brighter note, 86% don’tthink it will get any worse. 71% think it will stay the same.In terms of the trend, April saw a rise in the level of optimism although the figures continue the volatile trend whichhas been in evidence for the last year.The Financial Optimism Index measures how people think their personal financial situation will change over the nextfew months.The recovery in optimism which had been in evidence since November 2011 seems to be continuing to stall withsentiment continuing the volatile trend of the past year.
  2. 2. © DataTalk Research Ltd May 2013 Page 2As ever the overall figure hides considerable differences in different sections of the population. If you are under 40 you are more likely to be optimistic If you are male you are less likely to think things will remain the same London is the most optimistic region Urbanites are more optimistic than suburban dwellers The two most optimistic groups in terms of working status are the unemployed and students If you are the main shopper you are less likely to be optimisticCommenting on the latest figures, Steve Abbott a Director of the British Consumer Index said; “Financial optimismplays a major part in people’s spending decisions. With only 15% of the population thinking that their situation isgoing to improve it seems unlikely that spending, whether on the high street or on line, will increase significantly anytime soon. On a brighter note at least the figure is still slightly positive unlike the period between mid-2010 and early2012. “For more details see the charts below or contact; Steve Abbott;E- stevea@thebps.co.ukT- 0203 286 1981Notes: Figures are collected by The British Population Survey by face to face in home interviews with a populationrepresentative sample of 1,000 adults aged 15+ per month.Fully analysable data is available from www.bcindex.co.uk
  3. 3. © DataTalk Research Ltd May 2013 Page 3Charts: 3 months to April 2013, n = 2,973Males are slightly more likely to think that things will change rather than stay the same.There is a direct correlation between age and optimism. The older people are the less confidence they have thatthings will get better. The cross over point being around 40 yrs old.
  4. 4. © DataTalk Research Ltd May 2013 Page 4There is far more diversity in the numbers of people who think things will get worse when the index islooked at by Social Grade.In terms of Lifestage the distribution reflects the predominant age groups at each stage.
  5. 5. © DataTalk Research Ltd May 2013 Page 5There is no evidence of a ‘North/South’ divide when it comes to Financial Optimism. The biggest contrast beingbetween London and the South.Urbanites tend to be more optimistic than their suburban or rural neighbours.
  6. 6. © DataTalk Research Ltd May 2013 Page 6Optimism is highest in the Unemployed and Student groups.An interesting ‘cause and effect’ question arises here. Women dominate the ‘main shopper’ group and women areless likely to be optimistic. The question is; are women less optimistic because they are the main shopper and aremore in touch with prices and balancing the household budget?