Home » Franklin Templeton, Gallup launch survey tool to track U.S. economic recovery from COVID-19 

Franklin Templeton, Gallup launch survey tool to track U.S. economic recovery from COVID-19 

Combining survey data with administrative datasets, Economics of Recovery Study will track attitudes about work and consumer activities to anticipate larger economic trends

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Franklin Templeton and Gallup launched Wednesday a new research project to analyze the course of economic recovery from COVID-19 in the U.S. The new Franklin Templeton-Gallup Economics of Recovery Study will combine monthly surveys of U.S. adults with big data to capture Americans’ readiness to resume pre-COVID-19 behaviors at a critical moment.

Gallup research has established that economic decision-making is up to 70% emotional and 30% logical. By pairing Americans’ stated attitudes in the surveys with data on actual behavior from sources that track activities such as daily trends on visits or bookings to restaurants or claims for unemployment benefits, the project will offer a wide-ranging view of the behaviors of U.S. adults and the factors influencing them.

Amid new surges of cases in certain parts of the U.S., the monthly surveys will consist of a stable core of items – allowing trending – as well as topical items to reflect new developments. Key survey topics will include:

  • Understanding the different public health-related scenarios in which consumers would resume previous spending levels.
  • Assessing consumers’ support for reopening key services such as daycares, schools, restaurants, nonessential businesses, etc., through experimental methods consisting of showing respondents different visual representations of the public health impact of COVID-19.
  • Reporting recent or planned visits to or orders from restaurants, recent purchases of plane tickets, recent bookings of hotel reservations or rental cars.
  • Testing consumers’ willingness to eat inside restaurants at different occupancy levels and identifying the premium airline passengers would pay to ensure empty seats around them.

“The Franklin Templeton-Gallup Economics of Recovery Study will offer frequent, large-scale updates on consumer attitudes at one of the most disrupted moments in U.S. history,” said Stephanie Marken, Gallup executive director of research. “Combining novel survey research methods with large administrative datasets, the forthcoming analyses will provide a robust, long-range view of consumer attitudes and actual consumer behavior.”

“We’re excited to be partnering with Gallup on this new research project,” said Sonal Desai, CIO, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income. “Understanding the attitudes and behaviors of U.S. consumers as the country finds a new footing will be critical for understanding the human element of when and under what circumstances Americans feel comfortable resuming key activities, even if those activities are done in new ways.”

This unprecedented, large-scale research effort will include interviews with thousands of U.S. adults monthly to understand their behaviors and attitudes toward resuming pre-COVID-19 behaviors and the extent of unemployment and underemployment brought about by the associated economic damage. By the end of 2020, Franklin Templeton and Gallup will have interviewed 35,000 U.S. adults.

Significant sample sizes will allow Franklin Templeton and Gallup to report results at the national, regional, state and even larger metropolitan area levels. Franklin Templeton and Gallup will also be able to report and describe the disproportionate impact of the disease and how behaviors differ among more vulnerable populations nationally, as previous research has confirmed that economic damage is unequally distributed. Results will be available for members of different income, race/ethnicity, political party, age and gender groups.

Initial results from the surveys and administrative dataset analyses will be available in August. To learn more about the project findings and release schedule, please contact Riley Brands at [email protected] or read the Gallup project announcement here.