PR pulse: Americans bracing for coronavirus economic fallout

by | Apr 6, 2020 | Covid-19, Public Relations

The life-altering fear and anxiety of COVID-19 is affecting us all, but many are equally worried about the world awaiting us on the other side of the pandemic. According to a new survey by market research-based consulting firm ROI Rocket, about two-in-three Americans 18 and older (65 percent) expect the coronavirus crisis to plunge the country into an economic recession, if not a depression.

When asked about the most likely impact of the pandemic on the U.S. economy, a plurality of adults (44 percent) indicated a recession—two back-to-back quarters of negative economic growth. Another one-in-five (21 percent) predict the country will fall into an economic depression—experience a prolonged downturn that lasts through the rest of 2020 and possibly, beyond.

The percentage of adults ‘extremely concerned’ about contracting the virus has increased apace with the rise in confirmed cases. About two-in-five (42 percent) are now experiencing high levels of anxiety about contracting the virus compared to 31 percent just a week earlier.

American President with a face mask against CoV infection. 100 dollar banknote.

About four-in-five Americans (81 percent) say they’ve throttled back on day-to-day spending

Most report spending less on transportation, entertainment and apparel, among other things. In-demand products tend to be those most closely related to recommended pandemic countermeasures like household cleaners and canned, frozen or other non-fresh food.

Significant changes in spending have been driven by government mandated stay-at-home policies. About three-in-four (76 percent) report living under such a policy and, among working adults, only about one-in-three (32 percent) say they’re working a regular, unchanged routine. Another one-in-three (34 percent) indicate they’ve already seen their work hours or wages/salaries reduced, or alternately, have been furloughed or laid off.

This study of 1,001 U.S. residents aged 18 and older was fielded between March 24 and March 27, 2020. Sample collection was balanced to U.S. Census figures for gender, age, race/ethnicity and household income.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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