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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About Scott Van Camp

Scott Van Camp is editor of PR News, an executive-level, reader-supported publication that helps enhance the business impact of PR. Scott has a rich background in both journalism and PR/marketing. He has more than 15 years of experience as a writer/editor at various consumer and trade publications. Scott was with VNU Business Publications for five years, including stints as managing editor at IQ News and Technology Marketing magazines and senior editor at Brandweek. In the PR/marketing sphere, he has served as corporate communications manager at MarketBridge, a marketing and sales consultancy, and as editorial director for the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council. While at the Council, Scott led several high-profile marketing research projects. He has also operated his own communications and media consulting firm, SVC Communications.

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