Consumers Changing Stance on Old Spending Habits

U.S. Consumers Could Resume Old Spending Habits: More than 30% of U.S. shoppers expect they will “never go back” to their purchasing habits from before the financial crisis, but this figure is declining, according to a survey by McKinsey & Co.

The survey, which took the pulse of 1,000 adults, found that 35% of consumers predict their spending “will probably never go back” to former levels. However, scores on this metric have contracted from 41% in September 2011 and 39% in March 2011, indicating a discernible softening in attitudes.

Other results include:

  • Nearly a quarter of the respondents (24%) anticipate pursuing their previous consumption habits once the economy is “back on track,” a total reaching a recent high of 34% in September 2010, falling to 30% in September 2011.

  • Only 35% of shoppers were still reducing their outlay, a reading that stood at 55% in August 2008 before peaking at 65% in February 2009, gradually declining to 45% by September 2011.

  • Just 31% of contributors are now living “paycheck to paycheck”, and 29% report delaying purchases due to economic uncertainty, both down by 10% year on year.

  • Nearly a majority of the respondents (93%) said they intend to maintain or increase their spending on store brands in 2013, regardless of their financial situation, primarily thanks to “more-positive-than-expected” experiences with these offerings.

 McKinsey & Co.

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