First Peek at the 1994 Data MacroMonitor Marketing Report Vol. II, No. 1 March 1995

Summary

Since the DataMonitor measured consumer behaviors and attitudes in the summer of 1992, we have seen a recovery in virtually every region of the United States. Unemployment has passed the point of "full employment," with only a recent hint of inflation at the wholesale level. Interest rates have risen. At the same time, consumer installment debt has gone up. Mutual funds continue to rake in money, but no longer hand over fist because last year's losses in bond, equity, and international funds have dampened demand. Consumers everywhere are using cash less and less as automatic teller machines, debit cards, and credit cards are finding acceptance at more and more locations, with few or no minimums. Insurance costs are growing at a slower rate, although property casualty costs are up. Life insurance sales have stagnated, although the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling permitting banks to sell annuities suggests that they could grow. And everyone wonders what the consumer financial services potential is for the information superhighway—and what will happen if Microsoft and Intuit are able to combine. The first peek at the findings from the 1994–95 MacroMonitor supports many of these conventional wisdoms, and future analysis will shed light on more.