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: 9/14/22
Consumer financial concern is stable in September.
After August’s cooldown, consumer financial concerns have stayed stable in the recent month. Nearly 2 in 5 households (39%) consider personal finances to be their primary concern for the coming months. Nearly 60% of consumers have a high level of concern regarding the economy (62% in the prior month). With gas prices dropping, less consumers are concerned about the price of their next car trip–down 3% compared to the prior month.
COVID-19 concerns continue to precipitously drop with only 25% of consumers very concerned which is down 6 percentage points compared to last month. Concerns about restrictions being imposed have also dropped in the most recent month
The cost of goods & services is becoming a focus for consumers.
The severity of concern regarding the economy is declining, with fewer consumers rating their concern 10/10 compared to the past three months. The primary concerns among all groups continue to be rising prices on essentials & gas, followed by product shortages, an economic recession, and impacts to retirement & pension plans. All of these concerns have seen improvements in the past two months, particularly concern around gas prices.
Consumers are still uncomfortable with discretionary spending.
Nearly three in four consumers say they're currently uncomfortable splurging on premium items or taking money out of personal savings / retirement accounts to spend. Over half are also uncomfortable investing in the stock market, spending on non-essential travel, or spending on non-essential items in general. Nearly half of all shoppers anticipate cutting back on eating out & travel in the coming months to offset rising prices, though all of these figures are down versus June & July.
Pandemic concern is subsiding in the recent month.
COVID-19 concerns have dropped with only 1 in 4 highly concerned– down from 31% in August. While concerns about COVID itself have dropped, the impact COVID has on daily living has grown. During the travel-heavy months of summer, consumer fears of being forced to cancel plans due to COVID continue to grow for the third month in a row.
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 100,000 person OmniPanel. 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