The Pulse: The U.S. Economy

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

 

As the U.S. economy has been changing and cost of living is rising, American consumers weighed in on how the economy is affecting them, and how the current cost of living is impacting their daily lives. 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 April 10, 2022:

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The Pulse of the American Consumer 2022 v 14 pt 1
The Pulse of the American Consumer 2022 v 14 pt 2

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 caravaninfo@enginegroup.com for more information or for the full CARAVAN survey findings.

This Online CARAVAN® omnibus surveys was conducted on April 8-10, 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

The last few years have been a time of extreme uncertainty, and thus far 2022 has been no different. Whether it be the ongoing war in Ukraine, political division back home, the higher cost of living, and of course the pandemic, there is a lot on our collective minds. For this month’s Pulse we addressed the economy with the American consumer, and how the current cost of living is impacting their daily lives.

How much do you personally consider the following as indicators of the health of the U.S. economy?

*Comparisons are made from data collected December 15-17, 2021

  • The rate of inflation
    • 87% Major/Moderate Indicator (NET) (+2% change)
    • 59% Major Indicator (+7% change)
  • Gas prices
    • 81% Major/Moderate Indicator (NET) (-2% change)
    • 50% Major Indicator (-1% change)
  • The unemployment rate
    • 81% Major/Moderate Indicator (NET) (+3% change)
    • 41% Major Indicator (-3% change)
  • Interest rates for loans
    • 78% Major/Moderate Indicator (NET) (+4% change)
    • 37% Major Indicator (+7% change)
  • Available product inventory in stores/retailers
    • 76% Major/Moderate Indicator (NET) (-4% change)
    • 32% Major Indicator (-3% change)
  • The stock market indices
    • 74% Major/Moderate Indicator (NET) (+1% change)
    • 30% Major Indicator (+2% change)
  • The total of the national debt
    • 71% Major/Moderate Indicator (NET) (-6% change)
    • 40% Major Indicator (-3% change)

To what extent do you agree or disagree with these statements on the economy?

*Comparisons are made from data collected December 15-17, 2021

  • The U.S. economy can’t be viewed as stable until inflation is under control
    • 71% Strongly/Somewhat Agree (NET) (+3% change)
    • 40% Strongly Agree (0% change)
  • The current status of the U.S. economy is a major source of stress for my household
    • 61% Strongly/Somewhat Agree (NET)
    • 23% Strongly Agree
  • I would trust Republican-led economic policies more to help get inflation under control
    • 51% Strongly/Somewhat Agree (NET)
    • 25% Strongly Agree
  • I view the current U.S. economy as strong
    • 39% Strongly/Somewhat Agree (NET) (-5% change)
    • 10% Strongly Agree (-5% change)

Since the start of 2022, 76% OF AMERICANS have done at least one of the following as a direct result of the increased cost of living Americans are currently experiencing:

  • 41% Purchased more lower-cost store brand/generic grocery items rather than the usual brands you use
  • 31% Stocked up on grocery items, fearing that prices will get even higher
  • 27% Cancelled plans for trips by car that weren’t absolutely necessary
  • 25% Postponed the purchase of a discretionary item to have more funds on hand for everyday necessities
  • 24% Cancelled specific plans to dine out or order takeout
  • 21% Postponed a short trip/ getaway to have more funds on hand for everyday items
  • 18% Eating less/went on an unplanned diet
  • 16% Postponed the purchase of a major home appliance
  • 13% Consumed more carbohydrate focused meals than you prefer due to the increased costs of meats/proteins
  • 8% Adopted a far more plant-based diet due to the increased costs of meats/proteins

Since the start of 2022, 47% OF AMERICANS have cancelled at least one of the following subscriptions/services as a direct result of the increased cost of living Americans are currently experiencing:

  • 17% Any TV Streaming Service
  • 12% Amazon Prime
  • 11% Cable TV service
  • 11% Gym/fitness club membership
  • 10% Music/podcast apps
  • 9% Meal delivery kits
  • 8% Premium cable TV channels
  • 8% Any magazine subscriptions
  • 8% Online gaming services
  • 7% Clothing box subscription
  • 6% Any fitness/health/wellness apps
  • 6% Warehouse club memberships
  • 5% Any massage/spa/tanning memberships
  • 5% Pet subscription box
  • 4% Credit or identity theft monitoring services

A Quick Check-in on COVID

59% of American adults remain concerned about the Coronavirus (17% very concerned). Just 15% of the population claims to be ‘Not at all concerned’ about it. Overall, these stats are largely unchanged from one month ago (59%, 22%, and 15%, respectively)