Spending outlook shows signs of acceleration
As early as April, consumers were getting ready to go out and spend in the next 90 days, and had confidence in the economy.
A report compiled by 451 Research for S&P Global Market Intelligence shows positive results on consumer spending outlook, and confidence in the economy and jobs. The results were based on two surveys of over 3,000 North American respondents, conducted in April this year (in early days, therefore, for the COVID-19 vaccination program).
37% of consumers said they expected to spend more during the next 90 days, a big increase YoY; 63% expected the economy to improve over the next 90 days; and, predictably, the biggest increases in planned spending YoY feature travel and restaurants. That doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that most consumer spending is directed at those sectors -— it’s rather that they were out of the game entirely a year ago.
Most consumers (71%) were planning to return to in-store shopping, followed by indoor dining and personal services like hair salons (around 60% each). Travel was far behind at 30%, as were fitness and training and sporting events.
Why we care. These are interesting indicators, despite less direct evidence of the efficacy of the vaccination program back in April. It would be reasonable to assume that prospects for consumer spending on travel, for example, have only improved.
Marketers will be ingesting a range of data like this to develop a picture of the new consumer. Nobody is coming out of the last 16 months unchanged. One might expect a lingering sense of economic security and a reluctance to spend. Happily, these surveys suggest the opposite.
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