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December 2014 Trends Tracker

Trends Tracker

Companies covered: AAPL, AMX, AMZN, ANGI, BABA, CMG, DD, ETR:BMW, FB, GOOG/GOOGL, GRPN, HKG:0992, ISRG, KRX:005930, LNKD, MA, MCD, MON, NFLX, S, SFM, SIRI, SYT, T, TGT, TMUS, TSLA, TTWO, TWTR, TWX, TYO:7201, TYO:7974, VZ, WFM, WMT, YELP


Click here to download the report (.pdf)

 

Introduction

Welcome to Blueshift Research’s and SurveyMonkey’s fifth edition of the Trends Tracker. This monthly research survey tracks roughly 20 of the most pressing topics affecting U.S. consumers as well as business and investment theses. We monitor trends to see how respondents’ opinions evolve and frequently update survey questions with new issues that emerge from our research and observations.

This month’s Trends Tracker comprises 1,087 respondents who represent a general sample of the U.S. public. SurveyMonkey utilizes Census data to balance respondents by gender and age so that the sample aligns with the U.S. population. We removed two questions this month: one on home buyers, including first-timers, given that the market is covered by many other publications, and the other on consumers’ Internet speeds after seeing a consistent one-third of respondents reporting delays. We also tweaked our cable-cutting question to address not only cable service but also any pay-TV service on the market. This will allow us to monitor true cord-cutting rates across all pay-TV platforms. Finally, we added two questions: one on consumer response to the budding industry of edible insects, and the second on the adoption of hybrid and electric vehicles.

 

Summary of Findings

  • Our first new topic this month is on the United States’ nascent market of edible insects. Roughly one-third of our respondents said they are likely to buy a product with an insect-based ingredient.
    • 4% of respondents are likely to buy a product with an insect-based ingredient.
    • 16% are slightly likely to buy such a product.
    • Respondents 18 to 29 years old are the most likely to buy an insect-based product.
  • In our first coverage of electric and hybrid vehicles, a large majority of respondents reported still using gas-powered vehicles; 4.9% own a hybrid car, while only 0.6% own a fully electric vehicle. Lower gas prices are hindering the adoption of electric cars.
    • 8% of respondents own a gas-powered vehicle, 4.9% own a hybrid car, and only 0.6% own a fully electric vehicle.
    • Those ages 45 to 60 and with household incomes above $150,000 were the most likely to own a hybrid vehicle.

 

Topics

1) Roughly one third of consumers are likely to buy a product with an insect-based ingredient.

The edible insect industry has been prevalent in other countries for centuries but is just starting to emerge in the United States. One analyst predicts cricket flour will be part of next year’s trend of alternative proteins. The UN has joined entomology enthusiasts in pushing the consumption of insects given the high-protein food source’s low environmental impact. Roughly a third of our respondents would be willing to buy a product with an insect-based ingredient, led by those ages 18 to 29. One poll from Wisconsin showed similar results. Market players are mostly startups, such as tiny farms feeling out a brand new market in various ways. Others are already rolling in the investors, such as Exo, which distributes cricket-based protein bars and has raised $1.2 million.

How likely are you to buy a product with an insect-based ingredient?

  • 4% of respondents are likely to buy a product with an insect-based ingredient.
  • 16% are slightly likely to buy such a product.
  • Respondents ages 18 to 29 are the most likely to buy an insect-based product.
  • Those with household incomes below $24,999 are the most likely to buy a product with an insect-based ingredient, followed by those making $100,000 to $149,999 a year.

 Insect-infographic-December-2014

2) Adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles is minimal.

Our other new topic is the adoption of hybrid and electric cars. Currently only 4.9% of our respondents own a hybrid car, and only 0.6% own a fully electric vehicle. Adoption is polarized on the West Coast and in Hawaii. The drop in gas prices has made the purchase of a gas or hybrid vehicle more cost-effective. However, gas prices are not affecting Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), whose electric cars appeal to a consumer unconcerned with cost. Also, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.’s (TYO:7201) Leaf is seeing sales increase year to year, while BMW AG’s (ETR:BMW) is rolling out a plan to have a hybrid model for every core model.

What type of car do you own?

  • 8% own a gas-powered vehicle, 4.9% own a hybrid car, and only 0.6% own a fully electric vehicle.
  • Respondents 45 to 60 years old and with household incomes above $150,000 were the most likely to own a hybrid vehicle.
  • Those ages 45 to 60 and with household incomes below $24,999 were the most likely to own a fully electric vehicle.

 Car-type-infographic-December-2014

 

3) Almost one-third of consumers do not have a pay-TV service.

After five months of specifically targeting cable subscriptions and cable cutting, we broadened our survey question to account for all pay-TV services. Our data now shows 30.6% of respondents do not have pay-TV services, and roughly 1% of those canceled their service in the past month. Studies by Nielsen and GfK both point to a similar conclusion. Nielsen found that consumers’ viewing hours are increasing for Internet streaming and are decreasing for tradition TV, while GfK found that consumers with Roku boxes or similar devices, roughly 20%, are cutting back on or eliminating pay-TV services. Nielsen does not count mobile device streaming, and recently added Netflix Inc. (NFLX) viewing. Two initiatives by Google Inc. (GOOG/GOOGL) and Facebook Inc. (FB) may add to consumers switching to streaming TV.

Do you use pay-TV in your household?

  • 6% do not have a pay-TV service in their homes.
  • 9% canceled their pay-TV subscription in the last month.
  • Respondents ages 18 to 29 (38.7%) are the most likely to never have a pay-TV service.
  • Those ages 44 to 60 (40.3%) are the most likely to have a pay-TV service with add-on services, followed by those 61 and older.
  • Those 18 to 29 years old (15.2%) were the most likely to have canceled their pay-TV subscription more than a month ago.

 

4) Netflix dominates OTT service use.

As shown in a previous question, cord cutting is occurring and is encouraging the environment of over-the-top (OTT) services. The top OTT service continues to be Netflix, followed by Google’s (GOOG/GOOGL) YouTube and Amazon.com Inc.’s (AMZN) Prime Instant Video. One poll shows that peak streaming hours still are dominated by Netflix over other services, 34.89% to 2.58%. Netflix is staying ahead of the competition partially through original content, but it also is trying to edge into cable set-top boxes. This move would allow Netflix to reach customers lacking fast Internet speeds as well as those who only use cable. Other streaming services are trying to keep up. Amazon is rolling out 4K content to quench consumers’ thirst for high-resolution viewing.

 

What online streaming TV services do you use?

  • 7% of respondents use Netflix, a 1.2 percentage-point drop compared with last month. 34.6% are using YouTube to stream TV services, a 5.2 percentage-point dip. 16.5% are using Amazon Instant Video to stream TV shows, a 0.3 percentage-point decrease.
  • Respondents who stream TV content use an average of 2.3 services.
  • All online streaming TV services are being used mostly by those under the age of 44. Netflix, Hulu and Hulu Plus are used primarily by those 18 to 29 years old, while Time Warner Inc.’s (TWX) HBO Go and Amazon Prime are used the most by those 30 to 44 years old.
  • Households making $50,000 to $99,999 were the most likely to not use any online streaming TV services.

 

5) Support of marijuana legalization drops slightly but remains high.

Support for marijuana legalization fell slightly compared with the previous quarter, with respondents ages 30 to 44 becoming more in favor of such a development. The relatively stable support of legalizing marijuana has led to an influx of marijuana tourism to states that already have legalized marijuana. Other states watching this rise in tourism and money want a piece of the action. Georgia has two pro-marijuana bills on the table for next year, while five other states, Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada, are likely to vote on legalization in 2016.

 

What should the law be regarding marijuana?

  • 7% believe marijuana should be completely legal, a 2.7 percentage-point decrease compared with the previous quarter.
  • 5% believe marijuana should be controlled on a state-by-state basis, a 2.7 percentage-point increase.
  • Respondents ages 30 to 44 (50.9%) are the most likely to support marijuana legalization, a change from the previous quarter when those ages 18 to 29 were the most supportive.
  • Those with household incomes of $0 to $24,999 (50%) are the most likely to support marijuana legalization, also a change from last quarter when those making $50,000 to $99,999 (46.8%) were the most supportive.

 

6) Local store chains lead in the grocery market, specialty store use continues to rise, and big-box retailers are beginning to suffer.

Local grocery store chains continue to be respondents’ go-to source for groceries. Big-box retailers are losing grocery shoppers, while specialty stores such as Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFM), Trader Joe’s and Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. (SFM) are gaining such consumers. Whole Foods will begin to label GMO products by 2018, and has initiated a new labeling/rating system for fruits and vegetables. Specialty stores also are positioned to take advantage of specialty food trends in 2015. Meanwhile, Walmart Stores Inc. (WMT), Google and Amazon are trying to advance the grocery routine through delivery and pick-up services, which also was mentioned in our September Trends Tracker.

 

Where do you shop for the majority of your groceries?

  • 2% of respondents get most of their groceries from local grocery store chains, a 3 percentage-point increase quarter to quarter. The number of respondents using big-box stores dropped 3.5 percentage points to 18.5%, while those using specialty grocery stores grew 1.2 percentage points to 14.1%.
  • 18- to 29-year-olds and respondents making less than $49,999 were the most likely to shop at specialty grocery stores, up 9.7 percentage points and 7.8 percentage points, respectively.
  • Respondents 45 and older and those making between $50,000 to $99,999 shop the most at local grocery stores, rising 16.2 percentage points collectively.
  • Those ages 18 to 29, and with a household income below $24,999 were the most likely to shop at big-box retailers, dropping 4 percentage points and 4.6 percentage points, respectively.

 

7) Anti-GMO support dips, but desire for GMO labeling remains strong.

The number of respondents opposing GMO foods and refusing to buy them decreased slightly since September, but overall survey participants still support the labeling of GMO foods and products. The FDA recently stated it has no concerns about the safety of GMO products. This fact coupled with a recent GMO debate could shift the consumer mindset. Voters in Oregon still are awaiting the final results of their November election; sponsors of the GMO labeling measure called for a hand recount of ballots after the measure narrowly failed. Another law that could come into effect would create industry-appointed experts to determine which GMOs are safe, which would further protect GMO crops being produced by Monsanto Co. (MON), E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. (DD) and Syngenta AG (SYT).

 

What are your views on GMO foods?

  • 5% of respondents oppose and do not buy GMO foods, down 3.2 percentage points compared with the previous quarter.
  • 8% support and buy GMO foods, up 1.6 percentage points compared with the previous quarter.
  • Respondents ages 45 to 60 are the most opposed to and do not buy GMO foods, a change from last quarter when those ages 61 and older were most likely to take this stance.
  • Those with household incomes of $25,000 to $49,999 were the most opposed to and do not buy GMO foods, a switch from last quarter when those making between $50,000 to $99,999 were the most opposed.

 

Should GMO foods be labeled?

  • 3% believe GMO foods should be labeled, a 2.1 percentage-point decrease compared with the last quarter.
  • 6% believe GMO foods should not be labeled, a 2.4 percentage-point increase.

 

8) Residential solar adoption is stagnant.

Respondents are not increasing their rate of adoption of residential solar panels. Meanwhile, Florida’s new ruling will end the state’s solar rebate program by the end of next year. In Arizona, the Salt River Project is asking its board to raise rates 3.9% starting next April as well as to break out maintenance and operations to all customers, which would result in new solar customers seeing fewer cost savings. Still, the residential solar market is predicted to grow rapidly through 2018, and is progressing for the better, such as in the increased efficiency of cells.

 

How likely are you to adopt solar power in your home during the next six months?

  • 2% of respondents are likely to or already have adopted solar in the next six months, a 1 percentage-point dip compared with the last quarter.
  • 5% are slightly likely to adopt solar in the next six months.
  • Those under the age of 44 were the most likely to adopt solar in the next six months, the same compared with the last quarter.
  • Households making $0 to $24,999 are the most likely to adopt solar in the next six months, a shift from last quarter when consumers making above $150,000 were the most likely to adopt solar.

 

9) Mobile payment use settles around one-third of consumers.

Mobile wallet adoption is relatively stable to down slightly quarter to quarter; our younger respondents are the most likely to adopt the new technology. A survey done by Stratos shows roughly a third of all consumers plan to use a mobile wallet over the holidays, which is very similar to the 35.9% rate among our respondents. Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) Apple Pay was meant to push adoption to new heights, but so far has only been tried by 10% of those who can use the service, and only 4.5% actually have used the service successfully, according to a Black Friday study done by InfoScout. Still, MasterCard Inc. (MA) is trying to increase mobile wallet use through a promotional ad with Gwen Stefani and a reward system.

 

Have you used a digital or mobile wallet in the last month?

  • 9% are using a digital or mobile wallet, a 0.6 percentage-point decrease compared with last quarter.
  • 6% use their digital or mobile wallet more than once in the last month, a 1.6 percentage-point increase compared with the last quarter.
  • Respondents ages 18 to 29 are the most likely to use a digital or mobile wallet, the same as last quarter.

 

10) iPhones continue to be No. 1 in the smartphone market.

Apple’s iPhones remain the dominant smartphone in the United States, followed by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (KRX:005930). Apple recently entered the “phablet” market with its iPhone 6 Plus and yet already controls 40% of the market. The company is rumored to be coming out with a lower-cost smartphone, the iPhone 6c, in 2015.

 

Who made the smartphone you currently own?

  • 1% have an Apple-made smartphone, a 2.1 percentage-point rise quarter to quarter.
  • 1% have a Samsung-made smartphone, a 1 percentage-point decrease quarter to quarter.
  • Younger respondents are more likely than their older counterparts to get an Apple-made smartphone.
  • Those with household incomes of $150,000 or more are more likely to adopt an Apple smartphone, while those making $25,000 to $49,999 are more likely to have a Samsung smartphone.

 

11) Consumers trust Google for reviews, followed by Yelp.

This month we added Facebook to the mix of answers for consumer review sites after the social media giant added a Places Directory. This new feature coupled with Facebook’s new search tool are expected to dip into use of Yelp Inc. (YELP). Currently, Google is respondents’ most trusted site for reviews on merchants, followed by Yelp. Amazon is launching Amazon Services, which connects shoppers and service professionals.

 

Which site do you trust the most for consumer reviews on merchants?

  • 7% trust Google the most for consumer reviews on merchants, a 4 percentage-point decline quarter to quarter.
  • 6% trust reviews on Facebook, more than those on LivingSocial and Groupon Inc. (GRPN).
  • Yelp is trusted primarily by respondents 18 to 29 years old, who also favor Google and Facebook. Angie’s List Inc. (ANGI) and Facebook are trusted by those 61 and older.

 

12) The computer still is the primary gaming method, but smartphone gaming is growing.

The computer is respondents’ top method of playing games, followed by through smartphones and then consoles. Revenue through smartphone gaming is set to outpace console gaming for the first time in 2015. Game designer Hironobu Sakaguchi is jumping ship to follow smartphone gaming revenue, while Nintendo Co. Ltd. (TYO:7974) will create smartphone versions of its Game Boy games. Mothers also are aiding the growth in mobile gaming; a study by WildTangent found that 80% of mothers play mobile or tablet games once during the week.

 

How do you play the majority of your video games?

  • 3% do not play video games, but those who do said they favor using computers (17%), smartphones (15.5%), and consoles (11.2%). This represents a 0.5 percentage-point decline, a 1.7 percentage-point increase, and a 0.3 percentage-point decrease, respectively, quarter to quarter.
  • Respondents ages 18 to 29 favor using a console, those 30 to 44 years old prefer to game through a smartphone, and those 45 and older favor using a tablet for gaming.
  • Those with household incomes below $24,999 or more than $150,000 were most likely to use a console, while those making $100,000 to $149,999 were the most likely to favor using a smartphone when gaming.

 

13) Likelihood of adopting wearable tech is stagnant to down, while actual adoption is up slightly.

Respondents are slightly less likely to adopt wearable technology in the next three months compared with the previous quarter. Younger respondents were the most likely to get a wearable tech device in the near future. The Apple Watch will be launched in early 2015, most likely in the spring; hence, one of the most anticipated releases cannot be factored into respondents’ likelihood of adopting wearable tech in the next three months. In true Apple fashion, the company is hiring fashionistas to help push the upcoming release.

 

Sales of wearable technology reiterate our findings of a slight increase in shipments. Those respondents who already have adopted a wearable tech product rose by 1.1 percentage point rise quarter to quarter, led Samsung, Lenovo Group Ltd.’s (HKG:0992) Motorola Mobility, and Pebble. Adoption of wearable technology is expected to skyrocket, but no such rise in adoption will take place until a game changer enters the market. The introduction of business apps could boost adoption and take the top position currently held by the fitness/health app niche.

 

How likely are you to adopt wearable technology in the next three months?

  • 9% of respondents said they are unlikely to adopt wearable technology in the next three months, a 1.9 percentage-point rise quarter to quarter.
  • 9% already have adopted wearable technology, a 1.1 percentage-point rise quarter to quarter.
  • Younger respondents are the most likely to adopt wearable tech in the next three months, the same as in the previous quarter.

 

14) Improvements in living habits continue to erode fast-food retailers’ revenue.

Respondents still are improving their living habits but at a decreased rate. One leading food cultural researcher said the ease of gaining nutritional or health-related information, such as through smartphones, is aiding the change in interest toward better eating; 82% of smartphone users believe their technology is improving the way they eat, and 44% of smartphone users utilize digital resources, such as Pinterest and blogs, to find ingredients and recipes. These personal improvements by the U.S. public have set off a chain reaction to food manufacturers to decrease the amount of salt, fat and sugar in their products. McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) recently slashed eight menu items and may eliminate some ingredients from its products as well. McDonald’s sales decline is partially due to fast-casual chain Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (CMG), which opened 132 new stores up to September and saw same-stores sales grow. The Navajo are pushing for healthier living by initiating a 2% tax on foods that have minimal to no nutritional value and on sweetened beverages purchased on a reservation in Arizona.

 

Compared with six months ago, how have your living habits (diet, exercise, sleep, etc.) changed?

  • 2% have improved their living habits during the last six months, a 6.5 percentage-point dip quarter to quarter. 20.8% of respondents reported a decline in their living habits, a 1.1 percentage-point rise.

 

15) Tobacco use slows as younger generations boost e-cigarette growth.

Most of our respondents do not smoke any form of tobacco. Cigarettes remained the dominant form among those respondents who do smoke, but usage decreased slightly quarter to quarter. E-cigarettes are adopted most often by younger respondents, but usage fell slightly quarter to quarter. A study done by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 18% of Wisconsin adults smoke tobacco, a 20% drop compared with two years ago. Still, e-cigarette use among teens (who do not take part in our surveys) is up significantly in Hawaii and Connecticut. Eastern Michigan University will ban tobacco use on campus by July 1, 2015, and other campuses, such as the University of Alaska, are trying to do the same.

 

How do you smoke most of your tobacco?

  • 9% of respondents do not smoke tobacco, a 0.5 percentage-point rise quarter to quarter.
  • Those who do smoke tobacco choose cigarettes most often (60.9%), a 1.5 percentage-point decrease quarter to quarter.
  • 6% favor e-cigarettes, a 3.4 percentage-point decrease quarter to quarter.
  • Those 30 to 44 years old and those making less than $24,999 are the most likely to smoke, a slight change from last quarter when respondents ages 18 to 29 were the most likely.
  • Younger respondents and those making less than $24,999 or more than $150,000 were the most likely to use e-cigarettes.

 

16) Traditional radio is the top form of entertainment in cars.

Traditional radio is respondents’ primary form of entertainment in their cars, followed by satellite radio and smartphones. Smartphone use is outpacing embedded systems, thanks to better apps and the ability to customize. Still, embedded systems are starting to catch on thanks to Google and Apple systems, which mimic smartphone features. The connected car is expected to grow at an annualized rate of 32.7% through 2020, and use of satellite radio services like SiriusXM Holdings Inc. (SIRI) is expected to fall. Even SiriusXM’s CEO believes the company’s subscriber growth will slow.

 

How do you consume most of your entertainment in your car?

  • 1% use traditional radio for entertainment in their car, a 4.2 percentage-point rise quarter to quarter.
  • Embedded systems are favored by those ages 45 to 60, smartphones are favored by those 18 to 29 years old, and satellite radio is preferred by those 45 and older.
  • Respondents with higher household incomes are more likely to use satellite radio (29.6%).

 

17) Verizon sits on top of the wireless carrier market; margins are thinning due to pricing wars.

Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) continues to be the top wireless carrier in the market, followed by AT&T Inc. (T). Among our respondents, 36% have Verizon, similar to last quarter, while 29.5% use AT&T, a 2.2 percentage-point dip. Those using Straight Talk (América Móvil’s/AMX TracFone Wireless) rose 1.3 percentage points, representing the greatest increase since last quarter. Pricing wars rage on; the battle for more consumers is starting to affect Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile US Inc. (TMUS) and Sprint Corp. (S), which are losing money at the margin and are seeing decreased profits. Meanwhile, T-Mobile is bundling a music streaming service into its carrier plans.

 

Who is your current wireless carrier?

  • 36% of respondents have Verizon as a wireless carrier, a 0.3 percentage-point rise quarter to quarter. AT&T, the second most popular wireless carrier, dropped 2.2 percentage points over the same timeframe.
  • 7% of respondents use Straight Talk, a 1.3 percentage-point jump quarter to quarter.

 

18) Facebook dominates all social media sites and keeps pushing forward.

Facebook continues to be the most popular social media site despite respondents’ usage of the site falling 1.6 percentage points quarter to quarter. A recent UBS study reveals that Facebook has the highest percentage of users who frequent it site daily, weekly and monthly compared with other social media sites, roughly 50% to 70%, respectively. Facebook continues to add features, such as the Trending Feature for mobile and the LinkedIn-rival offering dubbed Facebook at Work. Instagram (Facebook) usage among respondents was stagnant to down slightly, but Instagram added 100 million active monthly users since March, up to 300 million.

 

Which social media platform do you use the most?

  • 3% use Facebook more than any other social media site, a 1.6 percentage-point decrease compared with the previous quarter.
  • LinkedIn is the second most used social media site; 7.1% of respondents use this site the most, a 0.8 percentage-point increase quarter to quarter.
  • Twitter Inc. (TWTR) and Instagram are used primarily by those ages 18 to 29; Facebook is the primary social media site for those ages 30 to 44 and those older than 60; respondents 45 to 60 years old favor Google+ and LinkedIn.

 

19) Consumers are more comfortable with robot-assisted surgeries despite increase in lawsuits.

Respondents continue to become increasingly comfortable with robot-assisted surgeries, but factors like high costs and high complication rates may be slowing adoption. Lawsuits have been filed against Intuitive Surgical Inc.’s (ISRG) da Vinci robot because of issues with complications.

 

How comfortable would you feel with a doctor using a robot to assist in your surgery?

  • 6% are comfortable with doctors using robots to assist surgeries, a 2.6 percentage-point increase quarter to quarter.
  • 4% are very or extremely comfortable with robot-assisted surgery, a 1.8 percentage-point rise.

 

 

20) 11 Main gains minimal recognition.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s (BABA) 11 Main continues to go unnoticed by most of our respondents, but has grabbed slightly more attention compared with a quarter ago. Alibaba wants to boost 11 Main’s recognition in the United States through an app on both iOS and Android, through which iOS customers are able to use Apple Pay. Alibaba also launched a referral program through Google’s Products Listing Ads, giving referred shoppers a 30% discount on their first purchase for joining.

 

Have you heard of 11 Main?

  • 2% have not heard about 11Main, a 1.4 percentage-point decrease compared with the last quarter.

 

21) More consumers believe children should not be vaccinated, leading to vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks.

Most respondents believe children should be vaccinated, but with each Trends Trackers the number of those who disagree with vaccinations has increased. This antivaccination movement is being led by those ages 18 to 29. The number of unvaccinated children in kindergarten continues to rise in cities, including in Southern California and Michigan. This is having a direct effect on the number of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks in North America, up 6,000% from 2008 to 2014, according to data from the Council on Foreign Relations.

 

Should children be vaccinated?

  • 1% of respondents believe children should be vaccinated, a 3 percentage-point drop quarter to quarter.
  • 18- to 29-year-olds (8.8%) were the most likely to believe children should not be vaccinated, up 4.2 percentage points quarter to quarter. Those ages 30 to 44 and 45 to 60 were close behind (8.1% and 8%, respectively).

 

22) Consumers believe U.S. economic prospects have declined slightly.

Slightly more respondents believe the United States’ economic prospects have declined, but most survey participants do not hold a major political party responsible for the economy. A Gallup poll done this month shows that the U.S. economic confidence index is at a -9, higher than earlier this year. Our results show a slightly negative viewpoint as well. Still, the Association for Financial Professionals holds a positive outlook on the U.S. economy based on an increase in jobs and a gross domestic product of 2.7% in 2015, slightly ahead of this year’s pace.

 

Do you think economic prospects in the United States are improving or declining, and which political party is responsible?

  • 49% believe the economic prospects in the United States are improving, a 2.2 percentage-point decrease compared with the previous quarter.
  • 51% believe the economic prospects in the United States are declining, up 2.2 percentage points.
  • 9% believe neither major party is responsible for the country’s economic prospects, a 4.7 percentage-point decrease compared with the previous quarter.

 

23) Recently adopted apps and games include fitness, social media, console games, Candy Crush Soda Saga.

Which apps/mobile games are you using now that you were not using a month ago?

 

24) New trends include smart watches, lower-cost alternative power, healthy foods.

What is the most interesting new trend you have seen in the last month?

  • Smart watches
  • Attention to social and racial problems in the United States
  • Republican support rising while Democratic support declining
  • Lower costs in alternative power
  • Dropping gas prices
  • MOOC-based education
  • 3D printing
  • Gluten-free, vegan and healthy foods
  • Beards
  • Increased advertising
  • Uber
  • Google Chromecast
  • Dyed armpit hair
  • Boots
  • Mobile payments

 


Analysis by Mason Rudy