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Recession not as bad as predicted

Press Release from Research International:

Recession not as bad as predicted, but nervousness remains

DATE: 5th September 2009

Press Release: Research International

For immediate release

New Zealanders believe the recession is nowhere near as bad as predicted and question the reporting of such stories in the media

Only three in 10 New Zealanders believe the recession has turned out to be as bad as the experts and the media had predicted, finds a survey released today by Research International. But despite this fact, many are nervous about the role the recession could yet play.

“The anxiety still being expressed by certain sectors of the community can be seen in people’s attitudes toward their jobs and shopping behaviour” says Paul Epplett, Senior Director, Client Services at Research International. “A third of the workforce are not convinced their jobs are secure, and when incomes are not guaranteed, people obviously look to minimise risk”. “Two thirds of all respondents have said they are trying to pay for things more with cash rather than credit now and 44% have said they are trying much harder to pay off debt, more than in the past”.

One Gen X respondent to the survey summed up their attitudes: “I’m reducing debt and trying to build a bit of security, if I were to lose my job tomorrow, then how long could I survive living my life as it is at the moment”.

Completed on the heels of the recession and the swine flu outbreak, the same survey uncovers New Zealanders’ growing scepticism of media reporting in this country. Only two in 10 New Zealanders believed that New Zealand media report stories in a “balanced and unbiased” manner. “I know people are getting laid off and I understand that we have less money to deal as a country”, says one Gen Y male“, but I think the media is making it more than it really is”.

“This finding shows the tightrope media agencies walk”, says Epplett. “The failure to communicate the possible severity of an epidemic or recession would surely be criticised even more harshly should a worst case scenario eventuate”.

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