17 October 12 14:14–Israel is headed for general elections under a darkening shadow of pessimism among voters about the future of the economy in the coming months. There has been steady and sharp slide in the public’s sense of personal economic security. The bleak mood is seen in the Consumer Confidence Index, compiled by Globes Research and pwc Israel, which fell to a near four-year low in September 2012.
The Consumer Confidence Index fell by 1.3 points in September to 63.5 points (baseline 100 = 1996), after falling 8.2 points in August and 8.4 points in July. The index is at its lowest level since early 2009, at the height of the global financial crisis.
The Consumer Confidence Index comprises of three key questions: What is your opinion about the current economic situation; In your opinion, what will the economic situation be in six months; and, In your opinion, what will your personal economic situation be in six months.
For each question, the net balance of optimism (the proportion of optimists less the proportion of pessimists) is calculated. The September Consumer Confidence Index plummeted under the growing pessimism about the current economic situation, and especially due to the growing pessimism about the economic situation in six months. The net balance of optimism of responses to the first question about the current economic situation fell by 8.4 points in September to minus 41.6 points, after falling by 3.3 points in August and 9.8 points in July.
In trend figures (the three month moving average), the net balance of optimism fell by a steep 7.2 points in September to a low point of minus 34.9 points, after falling 3.6 points in August and 3.2 points in July. In other words, the net balance of optimism has fallen by 14 points in just three months.
In September, more respondents became pessimistic about the economic situation in six months. The net balance of optimism for responses to this question fell by 1.8 points to a low point of minus 45.3 points in September, after falling 6.2 points in August and 13.6 points in July. The net balance of optimism of responses to this question has fallen by 23.5 points in four months.
If there is one thing that characterizes the findings in recent months about respondents’ expectations about the future of the economy characterizes, it is the steady, uninterrupted decline in expectations. There is no volatility in the graph; it is unidirectional, and downward. The only variable is the steepness of the decline, indicating the public’s growing fears and increasing pessimism…Read More>>