2010 Economic Outlook Report

Recovery from the Great Recession has continued to prove a challenge to marketers and understanding the various ways that consumers have been personally affected by the economic downturn is key to making the best of tough times. Experian Simmons helps marketers move forward with the development of the new Economic Outlook consumer segmentation system that explores in vivid detail the attitudes and behaviors of Americans when it comes to the U.S. economy, personal finance and consumer spending.

The 2010 Economic Outlook Report provides marketers with a detailed view of consumer finances in the current economy, including an in-depth analysis of the five Economic Outlook segments and a map of markets that are “under-banked.” To produce a vivid profile of consumers’ economic outlook, Experian Simmons conducted an extensive evaluation of the measures continuously collected in the National Consumer Study (NCS) related to consumers’ attitudes towards the U.S. economy and their personal financial situation as well as their purchase behaviors and intentions. This research uncovered five distinct consumer segments.

The five Economic Outlook segments now available from Experian Simmons include:

  • Confident Spenders (21% of U.S. adults)
  • Fiscally Fit (22% of U.S. adults)
  • Financial Nesters (11% of U.S. adults)
  • Economically Indifferent (19% of U.S. adults)
  • Facing Challenges (27% of U.S. adults)

Descriptions of each segment are on the following slides. For additional information about the Economic Outlook consumer segmentation click here.

Economically Indifferent consumers use cash and money orders as a form of payment at disproportionately high rates. Confident Spenders use credit cards and debit/pre-paid cards, while Facing Challenges rely more heavily on checks.

Instability in the banking sector during the economic crisis resulted in a noticeable increase in consumer discomfort with banks. However, more stability in the financial sector and positive economic news has resulted in a return of consumer confidence in banks as a trusted place to keep their money.

Below is a map of under-banked markets in the United States based on the propensity of market residents to not have either a checking account or savings account. Under-banked markets are heavily concentrated in the South and Southwestern U.S. in places that generally have high concentrations of Hispanic consumers and/or high rates of poverty.