Faced with Rising Costs, What Do Consumers Around the World Cut Back on First?

August 4, 2022

Inflation has become Americans’ top concern, and increases in the cost of living are being felt by consumers the world over. With tighter budgets, what do consumers cut back on first? YouGov investigates, by way of a survey of consumers across 18 different markets.

Respondents were asked in which areas they would first make cutbacks if their household budget is squeezed as a result of increases in the cost of living. The most common response, as cited by 61% of respondents, was eating out. Indeed, this comes in an environment in which 7 in 10 Americans have noticed increases in the prices of eating food at restaurants.

Other areas for which people around the world would first make cutbacks include travel (holidays; 49%), clothing (46%) and takeaways (44%). Some 36% said they would cut back on buying video games/video game subscriptions, and 35% would cut spending on media streaming service subscriptions. Separate data from YouGov indicates that, globally, almost twice as many consumers have canceled at least one subscription in the previous month as have taken a new one out (29% and 16%, respectively).

Not surprisingly, people are less likely to cut back on their essentials: only 1 in 4 or fewer would first reduce their spending on groceries (25%), automobile costs (24%), insurance policies/premiums (12%) and healthcare (9%). And in a sign of people’s attachment to their phones (and those phones’ importance to their lives), only 19% would first cut back on their mobile data plans/costs.

For more, check out the full survey results here.

About the Data: The results are based on “surveys of adults aged 18 and over in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between each market. All surveys were conducted online in June 2022.”

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