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Customer satisfaction skyrockets in Q2

Core retail sales fell 0.4% in November, according to the NRF.
Customer satisfaction rose 0.7% to 74.1 (on a 0-100 scale) in the second quarter.

Customer satisfaction remains on the upswing.

Customer satisfaction rose 0.7% to a score of 74.1 (on a 0-100 scale) in the second quarter, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). This is the largest one-quarter gain in satisfaction in nearly 15 years and follows three small consecutive upticks in satisfaction beginning in the second half of 2022.

The strong positive movement in aggregate customer satisfaction is being driven by gains in several large consumer industries, including automobiles, household appliances and personal computers. There have also been improvements in categories such as search engines and, to a lesser extent, social media platforms. 

The recent upswing offers a glimmer of hope as it succeeds a tumultuous timeframe, noted the ACSI. Over a period of about four years, a total of 15 fiscal quarters, overall customer satisfaction as measured by the ACSI dropped almost every quarter. Consequently, the satisfaction of American consumers fell in the second quarter 2022 to its lowest level in nearly 20 years.

The ACSI has been a strong predictor of economic performance. Accordingly, the 0.7% improvement in ACSI is accompanied by solid gross domestic product growth of 2.4% and moderate consumer spending growth (1.6%) in the second quarter.

“While the large gain in ACSI coupled with slowing inflation bodes well for future growth in the U.S. economy, satisfaction still remains below pre-pandemic levels, as evidenced by the more moderate growth, just 1.6%, in consumer spending last quarter,” said Claes Fornell, founder of the ACSI and the Distinguished Donald C. Cook Professor (emeritus) of Business Administration at the University of Michigan. “To drive more robust consumer spending growth, greater improvement in aggregate satisfaction is needed.”

The national ACSI score (or ACSI composite) is updated each quarter based on annualized customer satisfaction scores for all sectors and industries. 

The ACSI has been a national economic indicator for 25 years. It measures and analyzes customer satisfaction with more than 400 companies in over 40 industries and 10 economic sectors, including various services of federal and local government agencies. Reported on a scale of 0 to 100, scores are based on data from interviews with roughly 500,000 customers annually.  

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