New Year, Same Volatility: Most Americans Expect a Recession in the Near Future

Allianz Life study finds three quarters of Americans expect markets to be very volatile in 2022, with COVID variants, inflation and tax increases driving concerns

Key findings snapshot:

  • 77% of Americans expect the market will remain volatile this year
  • 59% expect a market correction in 2022
  • 66% of Americans say it’s important to have some retirement savings in a financial product that protects it from market loss

MINNEAPOLIS – Jan. 10, 2022 – Despite the start of a new year, a majority of Americans remain worried about market volatility, with over three-quarters saying they expect the market to be very volatile in 2022. These findings from the 2021 Q4 Quarterly Market Perceptions Study from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life), underscore the lingering worries around a number of health and economic risks that Americans are facing every day.

Amid rising case numbers from the Omicron variant, 67% say they are worried that new COVID variants will cause another recession. And as inflation hits 40-year highs, 74% say they are concerned about their purchasing power over the next six months. Another 64% say their income is not keeping up with expenses, and the same amount worry their income will not keep pace with tax increases.

“There are a lot of risks being amplified as we kick off 2022, and nearly eight in 10 (77%) expect the market will remain volatile this year,” said Kelly LaVigne, vice president of Consumer Insights, Allianz Life. “Further, 59% say they expect a market correction in 2022, which hopefully means people are starting to think about steps to take now to protect themselves if that happens.”

Today’s risks affecting tomorrow’s retirement plans

While many are struggling to navigate these challenges in the short term, 57% say risks from market volatility will have a major impact on their plans to retire in the next few years. And with added pressure from increased uncertainty, 61% say they are worried their current financial strategy won’t provide the lifestyle they’d like to have in retirement.

“With all these different factors looming, it’s a critical time for people who are approaching retirement age to think about how to mitigate these risks and adjust their retirement strategies,” said LaVigne.

Currently, one-third say that putting some money into a financial product that provides a guaranteed stream of income in retirement is the most important step in having a secure retirement – the highest it’s been since the start of 2019. Gen Xers expressed the most interest in a product that offers guaranteed income (39% compared with Millennials at 33% and boomers at 30%). At the same time, 66% of Americans say it’s important to have some retirement savings in a financial product that protects it from market loss.

*Allianz Life conducted an online survey, the 2021 Q4 Allianz Life Quarterly Market Perceptions Study, in December 2021 with a nationally representative sample of 1,004 respondents age 18+.

Annuity guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.

Annuities are issued by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America.

About Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, one of the Ethisphere World’s Most Ethical Companies®, has been trusted since 1896 to help millions of Americans prepare for financial uncertainties and retirement with a variety of innovative risk management solutions. In 2023, Allianz Life provided additional value to its policyholders via distributions of more than $13.73 billion. The company is a leading provider of fixed index annuities, registered index-linked annuities, fixed index universal life insurance, and buffered ETFs via our subsidiary Allianz Investment Management, LLC. Allianz Life is part of Allianz SE, a global leader in the financial services industry with approximately 160,000 employees in more than 70 countries. Allianz Life is a proud sponsor of Allianz Field® in St. Paul, Minnesota, home of Major League Soccer’s Minnesota United.