The Pulse: Consumer Sentiment on the Economy

The Pulse of the American Consumer is focused on continued insight into consumer sentiments for businesses across all industries.


Since the beginning of the year, there has been a drop in Consumer Sentiment about the economy. Generally, consumers are currently feeling okay about the short-term economy, but not as hopeful for the long-term economy. In order for businesses to have the most success connecting with their consumers, they have to understand them – what they are interested in, what they need, and how they feel. At ENGINE, we have the real-time pulse of the consumer, today, and always.


Key Findings as of March 18, 2022:

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The Pulse of the American Consumer 2022 v11

If you would like more information on ENGINE CARAVAN surveys, contact us below:

At ENGINE, we will be keeping up with the pulse of the consumer throughout 2021, and are regularly running our CARAVAN surveys on current social issues. Contact us at for more information or for the full CARAVAN survey findings.

This Online CARAVAN® omnibus surveys was conducted on February 16-18, 2022. Approximately 1,000 adults selected from opt-in panels were surveyed. The results are also weighted to U.S. Census data to be demographically representative.

Written by the CARAVAN team at ENGINE Insights.

The Pulse of the American Consumer

Consumer Insights on Current Events

Since the beginning of the year, there has been a drop in Consumer Sentiment about the economy driven by a significant decline in the Long-Term Sentiment Index — even though the Short-Term Sentiment Index has remained much more stable over the first few months of the year.

This indicates that consumers are feeling negative about the economy over the long term but are feeling okay about the economy over the short term. This sentiment coincides with the worsening situation in Ukraine which is likely a driver of some of this negative long-term sentiment.

March 16-18, 2022 vs. January 5-7, 2022

  • Would you say that you (and your household) are better off or worse off FINANCIALLY than you were a YEAR AGO?
    • 33% Better off (Net) [+1% Change]
  • Looking ahead, do you think that a YEAR FROM NOW you (and your household) will be better off FINANCIALLY, worse off, or about the same as now?
    • 46% Better off (Net) [-3% Change]
  • Regarding business conditions in the United States as a whole — do you think that during the NEXT TWELVE MONTHS we’ll have good times financially, or bad times?
    • 25% Good Times (Net) [-6% Change]
  • Looking ahead, which would you say is the MOST LIKELY economic scenario for the United States during the next FIVE YEARS OR SO?
    • 29% Prosperity (Net) [-6% Change]

Consumers think that now is a good time to shore up their finances by saving more and paying down debt. This is likely tied to increasing negative sentiment around the future of the economy.

Consumers view now as a much better time to book a vacation than they did at the beginning of the year. This is likely due to the Omicron wave of COVID-19 now having passed and improving seasonal weather making vacationing more appealing.

Do you think now is a good or bad time in terms of ECONOMIC STABILITY?

March 16-18, 2022 vs. January 5-7, 2022

  • Save more than you are saving now
    • 60% Good Time [+6% Change]
  • Make extra or lump sum payments to pay off or pay down outstanding debt
    • 51% Good Time [+6% Change]
  • Invest more for retirement than you are now
    • 45% Good Time [+2% Change]
  • Research/book a vacation or travel in the next month
    • 37% Good Time [+8% Change]
  • Buy major home electronics such as a TV, computer, tablet in the next month
    • 29% Good Time [-1% Change]
  • Subscribe to a new streaming service in the next month
    • 28% Good Time [-4% Change]
  • Buy furniture and home decor in the next month
    • 26% Good Time [+1% Change]
  • Buy large home appliances (refrigerator, dishwasher, washer/ dryer, stove/oven) in the next month
    • 25% Good Time [-1% Change]
  • Make or begin planning a large home improvement/renovation project in the next month
    • 23% Good Time [-3% Change]
  • Relocate to a different part of the country in the next 3 months
    • 19% Good Time [-5% Change]
  • Buy a new car in the next month
    • 19% Good Time [-3% Change]
  • Buy a house in the next 3 months
    • 18% Good Time [-2% Change]