Monday AM January 11th, 2009

Forty per cent of Americans expect to have less disposable income this time next year, according to the most recent Zogby Interactive Poll. Ed Mayberry reports.

moneyAmericans expecting to have less disposable income in 2010 outnumber those who anticipate an increase almost two-to-one.  But about a third expect it will remain about the same.  Zogby International's Sam Rogers says the poll didn't ask why people have these perceptions.

"We didn't ask a follow-up about why, but we did ask was a follow-up asking if people planned on making any major purchases over the next year, and we gave them a house, car, major appliance, computer.  Fifty per cent of people said they weren't planning on purchasing any of the above.  And so what we see is a lack of consumer confidence.  If I am in the retail business, it's a little frightening that 50 per cent of Americans don't plan on making a major purchase in the next year."   

Expectations for a boost in disposable income vary according to age.

"Expectations for a boost in disposable income were higher among the 18-to-29 group.  Thirty per cent said that they expect to have more disposable income next year, compared with 21 per cent in the nation overall.  So we do see a little more optimism among younger Americans."

Ed: "Did that optimism vary according to somebody's, you know, economic standing?"

"There was some change in the income level.  Those on the lower end of the income scale, less likely to expect to have more disposable income in the future."

About 31 per cent of wealthier Americans are concerned that disposable income will decrease, but Rogers says that may be because their income level has been hit hard, with the highest percentage drop in real estate values and 401(k) accounts.

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...