Press Centre

New customer confidence index reveals that, despite low confidence in the economy, people feel positive about their lives

Today ASDA is launching the Pulse of the Nation Index, a new consumer confidence survey, unprecedented in scope and scale, which will chart UK confidence levels quarter-on-quarter.

The index is distinct from other consumer confidence indices both in its size -10,000 panel members – and its remit, focusing on ten key issues impacting people’s personal lives, including: personal finance, relationships, education, safety from crime, job security, the environment, time pressure, diet, exercise and the economy.

The findings from the first quarterly index confirm that confidence in the economy is very low. With a sample size of 2974 respondents from our panel of 10,000, the economy received an average score of 28/100.

The index reveals that while there is low confidence in the economy, people are feeling confident about job security (65/100) and positive about the general state of their own and their families’ lives, with an overall score for the UK of 58/100.

The ASDA Pulse of the Nation Index provides a multi dimensional view of confidence levels, showing that the impact of the economy on day-to-day consumer confidence might not be as strong as other reports and indices have indicated.

This is supported by the high scores for the quality of education children are receiving (70/100) and the strength of relationships (family & friends) – 78/100.

Yet, interestingly, while people feel confident about being able to feed their families a healthy diet (67/100), they feel less sure about their ability to ensure an active lifestyle (57/100).

As the economic conditions change over the next quarter, the index will monitor the fluctuations in all the confidence measures, showing whether consumers still feel as positive about their life and as resilient against external economic conditions.

Professor Nick Wilson, Leeds University Business School, said:

“The findings of the index reflect overall concerns about the economy and personal finance widely reported elsewhere whilst being balanced by a demonstrable resilience and positive outlook in other areas of family life. Given the current economic outlook, it will be interesting to see how changing economic conditions impact key aspects of family life and in particular, whether confidence in job security remains as buoyant next quarter.”

ASDA’s Head of Customer Insight, Rebecca Bektas, said:

“With over 16 million customers a week, we have commissioned this research to gain a greater understanding and insight into consumer attitudes. Given that the demographic of ASDA shoppers mirrors the national population most closely of all the major supermarkets, we feel in a unique position to chart consumer confidence levels in the UK. The index is distinct from other surveys as it gives a more complete picture of how people are feeling about their lives, taking into account a wide range of factors that contribute to overall levels of confidence.”

Panel member and regular ASDA shopper, Joy Ellis from Enfield, mother of three, said:

“Although the economic situation does worry me, I feel pretty confident about my life in general. There are definitely things that concern me such as the increasing cost of living and safety on our streets, but I am still quite positive and this is mainly down to my family and friends.”

Posted in Press Centre on 02 September 2008