Half of US consumers plan to try to consider each purchase more carefully during the next five years, according to a July 2011 survey from BIGresearch. Data from the Consumer Intentions & Actions Survey indicates about 48% will also try to stick to a budget and be more price-conscious when buying clothing and food.
More than four in 10 consumers (about 47%) also plan to spend less dining out in the next five years. Only about 12% say they economy won’t impact their lifestyle.
A look at consumer plans for big ticket purchases in the next six months shows similar intentions to July 2010, when consumers generally had lackluster intentions in this area. About 15% of consumers planned to purchase a computer in both years, making it the most popular big ticket item in both years.
Meanwhile, mobile devices were the only big ticket product category showing a substantial jump in purchase intent, while consumer plans to buy furniture and houses slightly increased, and stayed about flat for cars and trucks.
Consumer plans to purchase vacations, digital cameras, major home improvements and jewelry/watches all notably decreased, while plans to purchase TVs slightly decreased.
Survey data shows one-third of consumers (32.4%) are already planning to spend less on gifts than they did last year (about the same as last year, 32.8%). One in four (26.5%) is budgeting the same amount (compared to 28.3% in July 2010), while just 4.1% intends to spend more, on par with 3.8% a year ago.
Overall spending reductions are the most popular holiday saving plan, with three in five (62.5%) consumers planning on spending less simply spending less on everyone this year. Another 43.5% will be scouting for gifts on sale, while a little more than a third (35.6%) will comparison shop for the best prices.
Sinking confidence and pragmatic spending inclinations are likely to blame for a depressed 90 Day Outlook for July, according to the BIGresearch Diffusion Index (those who say they’ll spend less subtracted from those who will spend more.) All categories have declined from June 2011, while most are also down from one year ago, which BIGresearch says might not bode well for the back-to-school selling season. While most categories have improved from July 2009, which was a low point in the recession, all have failed to improve from pre-recession July 2007.
Consumer confidence in the economy has significantly dropped from July 2009. Two years ago, 44.6% of US adults 18 and older believed the economy would ever rebound to its pre-crisis state. This month, that figure has declined 37.7% to 27.8%. While the percentage saying they are not sure rose 21.7%, from 29.4% to 35.8%, a much larger 40.1% increase occurred in those saying no (26% to 36.4%).
The July 2011 Consumer Sentiment Index of the Consumer Reports Index, which measures how consumers are feeling financially when compared with a year ago, rose slightly to 48.5 from the previous month’s score of 46.2, but continues to lag in negative territory. The July 2011 score is also comparable to the July 2010 score of 45.2.
About the Data: The BIGresearch Consumer Intentions & Actions® Survey monitors more than 8,000 consumers each month.
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