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Gender Differences and Today’s Market – Women More Pessimistic Than Men on Economic Outlook, Household Situations

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RISMEDIA, August 29, 2009-Performics, the performance marketing group inside Publicis Groupe’s VivaKi Nerve Center, released its fourth month of consumer behavior findings from its “2009 Online Buyer Economic Trend Study.”

To get a broader perspective on trends, Performics analyzed April through July 2009 data based on gender and geographic region. In April, men and women were relatively in sync when it came to economic outlook, perceptions of their household financial situations and their overall/online spending plans. In fact, in April, exactly 53% of men and women stated that their current economic situation was worse than at the same time last year.

In contrast, by July, women responded with continuing caution and pessimism with 54% stating their economic situation was worse than at the same time last year while men showed signs of increased optimism as a reduced 38% responded the same way.

Additional findings from the July 2009 data include:

-55% of women vs. 37% of men expect to spend less overall in the next 60 days
-46% of women vs. 34% of men expect to spend less online in the next 60 days
-41% of women vs. 30% of men expect to spend less on household essentials in the next 60 days, up from 34% for women and down from 33% for men in April
-73% of women vs. 57% of men think the recession has fundamentally changed the way they think about saving and spending money

Despite some improving economic and market signals on Wall Street, women on Main Street continue to act cautiously,” said Michael Kahn, SVP of Marketing at Performics. “Given that women are still the primary purchasers in many households, their views and plans on spending will have a material impact on how quickly and to what degree we rebound from this recession. “

The study also found shifts in the mindset among consumers in various geographical areas around the United States. Regionally, the Southwest portion of the United States, including states like Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico, has sustained the most positive outlook. In July, those respondents said their current economic situation was better (32%), anticipated improvements this year (32%) and planned to spend more in the next 60 days (23%).

The West, however, including California, Oregon and Washington, has grown more pessimistic since April. By July, 63% of respondents from that region said their situation is worse than at the same time last year, compared to only 46% in April. Additionally, 53% expect to spend less online in the next 60 days, whereas 36% expected to spend less online in April.

“We’ve also continued to track and analyze overall findings across all demographics,” notes Kahn. “During the first four months of the study, many of the findings have proven consistent in terms of how consumers are cutting back spending in response to the economy.”

Across all consumers surveyed the percentage of respondents who say their household economic situation is either the same or better than it was at this time last year dipped a few points, to 53% in July, after peaking at 57% in June.

Online and offline consumers continue to watch their spending, with the highest cut backs on non-essentials like dining out, fashion accessories and apparel. Cutting back spending on these non-essentials reached a four month high in July (38%) and remains the top reason why consumers plan to spend less. Lack of confidence in the economy, at nine percent, remained at a four-month low, down from 17% in April.

For more information, visit www.performics.com.

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