Inflation is still a major concern for consumers, but it’s not stopping them from spending.
INFLATION A CONCERN FOR 9 OF 10 AMERICANS
Almost 90 percent of all adults in the U.S. are concerned about inflation, according to a Momentive survey conducted February 1-7 for The New York Times (Feb. 25).
The survey found that worries about prices transcended generational, racial, and partisan differences. Eighty-five percent of Democrats and 96 percent of Republicans said they were concerned.
Inflation fears affected people’s view of both their own finances and the overall economy with about 75 percent of respondents rating the economy as fair or poor, while only 28 percent expect their personal finances to be better a year from now.
Momentive is not alone in its findings. For example, the ninth wave of the dunnhumby Consumer Pulse Survey found that U.S. consumers are now more worried about rising food prices, the economy, and their own personal finances than they are with getting COVID.
The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment also fell to its lowest level in more than a decade in February.
SHOPPING BEHAVIOR REMAINS UNCHANGED
Despite these findings, executives at some retail and consumer packaged goods companies, such as PepsiCo and Tyson Foods, said that consumers have yet to make any dramatic shifts in purchasing behavior even as prices rise, reported CNBC (Feb. 24).
“We’re feeling good about how our consumers are staying loyal to our brands in spite of some of our pricing decisions,” Laguarta said on Pepsi’s earnings call in early February.
However, such comments preceded the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has already led to surging prices for oil and gas, metals, and grains.
Earlier this month, Walmart said that consumers are aware of rising prices but haven’t changed their behavior – yet.