But Voters Still Cautious about Spending Amidst Uncertainty, Lambert/Denno Research Survey Shows

Lansing, Mich. – Nov. 26, 2013 ­­­­Michigan residents appear to be regaining faith in the state economy, but that confidence isn’t translating into increased spending this holiday season, according to a statewide poll released Tuesday by Lambert,, Michigan’s largest bipartisan public relations firm.

Only 11 percent of the 600 likely voters polled statewide Nov. 12-14 said they plan to spend more than they did last year, while 36 percent plan on spending less.  Around half – 51 percent – did say they would spend the same amount as last year’s holiday season, while 2 percent were undecided.
This status-quo sentiment comes despite the fact that 56 percent said they thought the state economy was headed in the right direction, a 9 percent increase over the 47 percent who thought the same in a July Lambert/Denno Research poll.  Twenty-nine percent of voters said in November that Michigan’s economy was on the wrong track, compared to 41 percent in July.

Both telephone polls were conducted by Denno Research and had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
“While Michigan’s economy is gaining steam, the unemployment rate remains at 9 percent and consumers remain cautious,” said Jeff Lambert, president and managing partner at Lambert “However, over half of those polled now feel Michigan is headed in the right direction, a sign of optimism that should strengthen as the state’s economy continues to grow.”

With the major holiday shopping days of “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” just around the corner, Michigan retailers have the same sense of cautious optimism tempered by economic uncertainty that consumers reported. Retailers expect holiday sales to increase 1.3 percent over last year, according to the Michigan Retail Index, a joint project of the Michigan Retailers Association and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Fifty-three percent expect to increase sales, 30 percent predict flat sales and 17 percent project sales will decline.

“Retailers and consumers seem to be on the same page this year as far as shopping expectations,” said Denno Research CEO Dennis Denno. “The upward trend is slight, but it reflects that 62 percent of people expect to spend the same or more as last year, a positive sign.”

About Lambert
Named the 2010 PRWeek Small Agency of the Year, Lambert is a top-10 Midwest-based PR firm and a top-20 investor relations firm nationally with clients based in 20 states and five countries.  As Michigan’s only statewide PR firm – with offices in Grand Rapids, Lansing and Detroit –Lambert serves middle-market companies and national brands in five practice areas: Automotive, Consumer, Financial Communications, Health Care and Public Affairs. Lambert has posted 14 years of growth, been named an Edward Lowe “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch” and earned four Silver Anvil awards – the PR profession’s highest honor.  Follow us on Twitter @LambertEdwards.

About Denno Research
The staff of Denno Research brings more than 20 years of experience in polling to their full-service public opinion company in Michigan. They offer experience in polling for political campaigns, corporations, associations and non-profit organizations, and have worked with clients in Michigan, Indiana, New York, North Carolina and New Jersey. They have been in business since 2004 and have conducted quarterly, statewide surveys to measure voters’ opinions since 2006.

About the Poll
This survey was part of an Lambert/Denno Research Periodic Survey of the Michigan electorate. Six hundred likely voters statewide were surveyed by telephone Nov. 12-14. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Twenty percent of those polled were contacted on cell phones, compared to 10 percent in earlier Lambert/Denno Research polls.  All numbers are rounded and may exceed 100 percent.