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May 12, 2020

Press Release National ACSI Q1 2020

For more information contact:
Denise DiMeglio
[email protected]
Telephone: 610-228-2102

Customer Satisfaction Steady as COVID-19 Inflicts Heavy Economic Toll, American Customer Satisfaction Index Shows

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (May 12, 2020) — Following five consecutive quarters of declining satisfaction dating back to 2018, U.S. customer satisfaction held steady in the first quarter of this year, with a score of 75.4 (on a scale of 0 to 100) on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI®).

While the stability in aggregate satisfaction can be viewed as relatively positive news for the economy, the current ACSI release includes data collected through the end of March. As such, much of the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic does not yet appear in the results.

Unsurprisingly, first quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth declined steeply, down 4.8% on an annualized basis. Consumer spending was even worse, down 7.6%.

Given that stay-at-home orders in many states did not begin until middle or late March, and that March is solely responsible for the negative quarterly spending growth (as both January and February had positive growth), it is reasonable to expect April numbers to be significantly worse.

“Historically, American Customer Satisfaction Index data often show improved customer satisfaction during difficult economic times,” said Claes Fornell, ACSI Founder and Chairman. “Consumers that maintain the ability to spend during these periods often find attractive prices, ample supply from sellers, and less competition from other consumers.”

It will be important to see if this trend continues during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, as strong customer satisfaction will prove critical to how quickly consumer spending and the economy rebound.

The national ACSI score reflects customer satisfaction across sectors and industries over a rolling 12-month period. For more, follow the ACSI on LinkedIn and Twitter at @theACSI or visit

This press release is also available in PDF format.

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