Numerator’s monthly Consumer Sentiment Study provides ongoing insights to help brands better understand how consumers are faring in today's increasingly dynamic marketplace. From inflation to the ongoing pandemic, consumers are facing multiple disruptions to their everyday lives and routines. Check back each month to keep a pulse on how consumers are feeling about the economy, the pandemic and other emerging market influences.
Latest Update: 9/25/2023
COVID concern spiked in September.
While finances and the economy remained the top concern for shoppers in September, COVID concern saw its largest one-month increase since January 2022, jumping nearly 10 points from August. A third of US consumers think mask mandates and travel restrictions are likely in the next few months, double what we saw earlier this summer.
Rising prices of essential goods and fuel remain top economic concerns.
High economic concern held steady at 59% in September, with rising prices on essentials remaining the top concern overall. Shoppers showed increased concern around their retirement savings and pension plans, with individuals across all income levels experiencing higher levels of concern this month versus last.
Consumers remain uncomfortable with discretionary spending in September.
Nearly three-fourths of consumers are uncomfortable splurging on premium items or taking money out of savings, in line with last month. A similar number expect to cut back on certain items—especially restaurants, travel and apparel—in the coming months to save money.
COVID concern jumps to highest level since January.
24% of shoppers said they were highly concerned about COVID-19 in September, up from 15% in August. Worries around reimposed or extended lockdown measures, mask mandates and travel restrictions saw the largest increases, each up 8 points from last month. Much of this concern is driven by high-income individuals, though all income levels are experiencing rising concern to some extent.
About the Survey
Numerator's consumer sentiment survey is fielded to 1,000+ consumers on a monthly basis. All consumers are active members of Numerator's 150,000 person Total Commerce Panel. The study was updated in June 2022 to incorporate new timely questions about the economy and to sunset some COVID-19 era sentiment questions. Responses are shown at a total level and also broken out by income level.
Income Level Definitions:
Low Income: <$40k annual household income || Middle Income: $40 – 80k annual household income || High Income: >$80k annual household income