Strong Correlation Exists between Happiness & Light Vehicle Sales

WORTHINGTON, OH – 3/20/13 – U.S. auto sales rose 3.7% in February likely due to consumers who have deferred purchasing and new models. However, the health of the auto industry remains shaky and automakers appear to be riding the coattails of the housing industry; hedging their bets on increased demand for construction vehicles to help boost sales this spring. But analysts and automakers alike may be missing a key indicator in Consumer Happiness. Prosper Insights & Analytics™ has discovered a strong correlation between the overall Happiness of Americans and Light Vehicle Sales. These findings are similar to previously released correlations identified between Happiness and Housing.

The correlation was examined between the Happiness Score (which is a composite measure of the current state of U.S. consumer happiness across ten aspects of life) and thousands of government data points, resulting in more than 6,000 correlation coefficients. The observations were time shifted one month (with happiness leading) and a relationship was identified with people’s overall Happiness and Light Vehicle Sales (r=.73).

Correlations between government light vehicle sales data and the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index were also calculated. Interestingly, no significant relationship was found between the two variables either matched or time shifted one month with consumer sentiment leading.

“This is a case where the aggregation of intuitive feeling provides a better measure than the aggregation of conscious judgment,” said Michael Perkins, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, Prosper Technologies. “Our analytical efforts regarding Happiness as a key economic indicator, although still exploratory, suggest a very interesting avenue for further study,” said Perkins.

About the Report:
Government data was obtained from the Economic Indicators InsightCenter™. Sources of information include the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

The Happiness Score has been tracked since February 2010. Respondents are asked to rate their happiness level on a scale of 1-5 with 1 being “totally unhappy” and 5 being “totally happy” for ten different aspects of their lives including health; relationships with family and friends; home, work and love lives; religion; housing; neighborhood and government.

For a complimentary copy of the special report, including additional correlations and methodology: CLICK HERE.

Prosper Insights & Analytics™
Prosper Insights & Analytics provides advanced business intelligence using sophisticated analytical software to examine big datasets and provide answers to executives via its cloud-based InsightCenter™ platform powered by Prosper Technologies. By integrating a variety of data including economic, behavioral and attitudinal data, Prosper Insights & Analytics delivers insights for executive decision making. Further, it is continually identifying unique insights through analytics to enable marketers to make knowledge-based decisions rather than relying on intuition. To learn more:

Chrissy Wissinger, Director, Communications
Dianne Kremer, Senior Analyst



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