See how consumers feel about the economy & COVID.

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: 5/18/2023

Financial concern remains high in May.

59% of consumers have a high level of concern regarding the economy, slightly down from last month. Over two-thirds (67%) of consumers still feel as though the country is in an economic recession, and 68% believe it will worsen in the next few months, on track with April. Personal finance has seen a three point decrease from April as the primary concern for consumers in the coming months. Work or school related concerns are up four points this month.

COVID-19 concern remains low, with only 2% citing the pandemic as their primary concern in the next few months. General level of concern regarding the pandemic and specific concerns like lockdown/mask and canceling plans have decreased this month. 


Rising prices of essential goods and fuel remain top economic concerns.

Concern around prices of essential goods and services continue to be the top concern regarding the economy for three fifths of consumers. Additionally, 65% of consumers are concerned about fuel prices (-2.0 pts) while two-fifths of consumers are concerned about stock market stability (+3.0 pts).

Consumers continue to be uncomfortable with discretionary spending.

Three-fourths of consumers are still uncomfortable splurging on premium items (75%), up four percentage points from April. 73% of consumers remain uncomfortable with taking money out of savings while nearly three-fifths (59%) are uncomfortable spending money on non-essential travel. In the coming months, consumers expect to be less comfortable with discretionary spending as they are now. 

Concern over COVID-19 decreased slightly in May.

15% of consumers have a “high level of concern” regarding COVID, down one percentage point from April. Consumers are less concerned about friends and family becoming infected with the virus (-2.0 pts), and less concerned that they will be forced to cancel plans due to COVID (-5.0 pts).


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

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