U.S. Consumers Cut Back on Spending and Plan to Continue through the Holidays, finds AsumeTech-Morning Consult Survey

U.S. Consumers Cutting Back on Spending, According to AsumeTech-Morning Consult Survey

Introduction

A recent AsumeTech-Morning Consult survey has revealed that U.S. consumers are reducing their spending this year, and they anticipate continuing to do so throughout the holiday season.

According to the poll conducted by Morning Consult, which gathered responses from 4,403 U.S. adults over a three-day period, a staggering 92% of respondents reported cutting back on their spending in the past six months.

Consumers remain cautious and selective in their spending habits, carefully considering when and where to spend their hard-earned money. Despite a decrease in inflation rates, broader economic uncertainty and labor disputes, such as the strike by auto workers in Detroit and writers and actors in Hollywood, have left consumer companies on high alert.

The survey found that the most affected spending categories over the past six months were clothing and apparel (63% reduction), restaurants and bars (62% reduction), and entertainment outside of the home (56% reduction). These trends have remained consistent since the previous survey conducted in June. Other notable categories with decreased spending include groceries (54% reduction), recreational travel and vacations (53% reduction), and electronics (50% reduction).

Holiday Shopping Outlook

The survey also provides a warning for retailers heading into the crucial holiday shopping season. A whopping 76% of all U.S. adults surveyed stated that they plan to cut back on spending for non-essential items. Additionally, 62% expressed their intention to reduce spending on essential items “sometimes” or “more often” over the next six months.

Impact on Different Socio-Economic Groups

Interestingly, the degree to which consumers feel the impact of the current economic situation varies among socio-economic groups. Surprisingly, it is not always the lowest-income group that reports feeling the most financial strain.

Among those earning $50,000 or less per year (lower-income households), 55% reported feeling the impact on their personal finances. In comparison, 61% of households earning $50,000 to $100,000 (middle-income households) and 46% of households earning at least $100,000 (higher-income households) reported feeling the same impact.

It is worth noting that this demonstrates a significant improvement in sentiment for higher-income households since the previous survey. In June, 55% of higher-income consumers reported feeling a negative impact on their finances. However, in September, 30% expressed a positive impact, up from 21% in June.

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