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Consumer Confidence on the Mend?

| February 5, 2010

If past history is any indication, the pest management industry may not be recession-proof, but it is recession-resistant, generally faring better than many other service sectors during an economic downturn. Nonetheless, if Americans feel their job is at risk or are currently unemployed, it doesn’t matter how essential the service, they may delay treatment or attempt to solve the pest problem themselves if they’re feeling pessimistic about the future.

That’s why the most recent Consumer Confidence Survey from The Conference Board should be welcome news to anyone in the service sector. While consumers are continuing to monitor their spending closely and remain pessimistic about their short-term prospects, they are cautiously optimistic about the future, which may bode well for the coming termite season.

Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, says that “expectations for the short-term future increased to the highest level in two years. The Present Situation Index, however, continued to lose ground and remains at a 26-year low. A more optimistic outlook for business and labor market conditions was the driving force behind the increase in the Expectations Index…however, consumers remain rather pessimistic about their short-term prospects and this will likely continue to play a key role in spending decisions in early 2010.”

While consumer sentiment remains a concern for many service providers, PMPs are generally optimistic about their future business prospects, according to a recent Insight Express Online Survey conducted for PCT magazine. In a random sample of PMPs across North America, 69 percent said they are optimistic about the pest management industry in 2010, while only 8 percent indicated they are pessimistic. Then again, after enduring one of the worst economies since the Great Depression, 2010 has to be better than 2009, doesn’t it?

The Consumer Confidence Survey® is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board by TNS. TNS is the world’s largest custom research company. (Source: December 29  press release from The Conference Board)


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