WSW study points out rife confusion

NEW YORK: The fourth installment in Weber Shandwick's Mood of

America series reports that Americans are receiving mixed signals on

terrorism, security, and the economy.

Since the attacks on September 11, there have been isolated anthrax

incidents and three high-alert warnings by the government. The economy

is sliding, but the stock market is climbing in fits and starts.

The survey concludes that communicators should give Americans time to

sort through security and economic news, and form expectations for the


Financial security numbers are split fairly evenly as people sort out

their individual situations. Of the 1,250 consumers surveyed, nearly

half the respondents expected their financial situation to improve (44%)

in the next four months, and 45% thought it would not improve. Only 12%

thought it would worsen.

"It is safe to say that this holiday shopping season is neither likely

to break records nor fall off a cliff," said the report. "Americans seem

to be telling us that they are still wary of terrorism and recession,

but are getting on cautiously with their lives."

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