Experian Marketing Services Launches New Consumer Economic Barometer

Experian Marketing Services launches new consumer economic barometer
Consumer Expectation Index reveals dramatic fluctuations in consumer confidence for Q1 2011; online purchasers show economic optimism in April 2011

New York, N.Y., July 12, 2011 — Experian Marketing Services, a leading provider of data, analytics and marketing technologies to help organizations target and engage their customers more effectively, today launched the Experian Consumer Expectation Index. Marketers now have access to actionable, granular data via the Experian Consumer Expectation Index (CEI) that distinguishes and trends consumer behavior based upon their economic outlook.

“In the U.S. marketplace, there have historically been only two consumer confidence economic indicators, both with limited sample sizes,” said Matt Seeley, president, Experian Marketing Services. “Experian Marketing Services has been a leader in providing valuable consumer insights, and the Experian Consumer Expectation Index provides an all-new and much broader measurement for economists, industry analysts and marketers to gauge how consumers perceive the economic climate currently and in the near future.” 

The Experian Consumer Expectation Index results are based on weekly data from the Experian Marketing Services Simmons DataStreamSM product and the Simmons National Consumer Study, for which 25,000 adults are surveyed annually. The index can be analyzed against more than 60,000 consumer data elements, including users of more than 8,000 consumer brands and products; robust demographics; and 600 psychographics, lifestyles, attitudes and opinions.

Experian Consumer Expectation Index at 90.5  for most recent period
Based on the latest figures for the Experian Consumer Expectation Index, U.S. consumers’ forward-looking view of the economy fluctuated dramatically during Q1 2011, reaching a three-year high of 96.8 for the week ending January 31, 2011, and then dropping substantially during February 2011 to reach pre-holiday 2010 levels.

“At the beginning of 2011, the economic outlook was very positive among consumers. However, rising gas prices and conflicting economic news have led to extreme fluctuations in consumers’ economic outlook,” said Bill Tancer, general manager of research, Experian Marketing Services. “While economic expectation settles back to the steady state of the low 90s that we observed in 2010, consumers’ overall view of the economy has returned to one of cautious optimism.”

Online buyers continue positive edge
With the exception of September 2008 through June 2009, the Experian CEI has shown that digital consumers have a more positive outlook on the economy than the U.S. population as a whole.

“One of the challenges of using Internet traffic data as a sole barometer of consumer economic sentiment is that in good times online retail traffic increases as consumers increase spending,” said Tancer. “In tougher times, however, online retail traffic also increases, as consumers leverage the Internet as a cost-savings tool.”

“Combining data from Experian Hitwise showing visits to the top 500 retail sites with the CEI reveals that, as of May 2011, moderate increases in both traffic and consumer economic outlook reinforce our viewpoint that after a period of strong positive outlook in Q1 2011, we’ve returned to the state of cautious optimism,” said Tancer.

The Experian Consumer Expectation Index will be released monthly, and you can read about more insights from the CEI here.

Matt Tatham
Experian Marketing Services
1 212 380 2939

About the Experian Consumer Expectation Index 
The Experian Consumer Expectation Index (CEI) is based on weekly results from the Experian Marketing Services Simmons DataStreamSM product and the Simmons National Consumer Study, for which 25,000 adults are surveyed annually. The survey results cover more than 60,000 data variables analyzed across in-depth demographics; consumer behavior; and more than 600 psychographics, lifestyles and attitudes among more than 8,000 brands and products. The benchmark for the index is a value of 100 based on consumer sentiment between Jan. 7 and May 7, 2004.  The value of the index increases or decreases over time, corresponding to a more positive or less positive consumer outlook. The Simmons National Consumer Study is a patented, multiframe sample accredited by the Media Rating Council.

About Experian Marketing Services
Experian Marketing Services delivers best-in-breed data, analytics and platforms into multiple regions around the globe. It is focused on helping marketers more effectively target and engage their best customers through email, digital advertising, customer data management, customer and competitive insight, data enrichment and list rental, modeling and analytics, and strategic consulting. Through these capabilities, Experian Marketing Services enables organizations to encourage brand advocacy, create measurable return on investment and significantly improve the lifetime value of their customers.
About Experian
Experian® is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 80 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2011 was US$4.2 billion. Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 41 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.

For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com.

Experian and the Experian marks used herein are service marks or registered trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.