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“Consumers’ confidence in their personal finances is returning to levels seen in Q1 2011,” according to SymphonyIRI Group’s latest MarketPulse™ survey. However, the survey says, “consumers remain cautious about their financial future and will continue to ramp up and/or maintain their conservative shopping behaviors this year. In addition, the recent survey uncovered that the nation’s 85 million moms have a sunnier outlook on the future compared to the general population.”

The report goes on to say that “consumers’ confidence about their personal financial situations is rebounding in Q1 2012, after slipping in Q2 and Q3 of 2011 and inching up slightly at the end of last year. Today, 19 percent of consumers feel their financial position has improved during the past year, 40 percent feel it has remained unchanged and 41 percent feel it has deteriorated. While these are not glowing statistics, it is the most optimistic outlook seen since Q1 2011.”

In terms of looking for bargains, the report says, “Shoppers are still looking for a good deal and are putting the time and energy needed into finding the right product for the right price. For instance: 71 percent of shoppers in Q1 2012 are still make shopping lists at home versus 67 percent in Q1 2011 ... 56 percent of shoppers in Q1 2012 are choosing stores based on lower prices offered versus 52 percent in Q1 2011 ... (and) 62 percent of shoppers in Q1 2012 look at store circulars before entering the store versus 56 percent in Q1 2011.” In addition, “7 percent of shoppers are using retailer Web sites to make lists ... 9 percent of shoppers are using the Internet to make lists ...  42 percent of shoppers are making lists based on coupons ... (and)  49 percent of shoppers are making lists based on circulars.”
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