Consumer Spending Gradually Rising in the U.S.

Economic analysts proclaimed the end of the Great Recession some time ago, however, most U.S. consumers still think we’re in challenging times. A new report from Nielsen shows more consumers believe conditions are groceryshopperimproving. But, these consumers are also being careful with how they are spending their cash.

Over the late spring and early summer in 2013, the number of U.S. consumers who said we are in a recession dropped from 75% to 69%. Analysts point out that this is the best sentiment they’ve measured in the past 5 years.  Not surprisingly, this change in attitude is accompanied by the feeling that consumers have a little more cash this year. Those that have extra cash are saving it (39%), investing it (7%), or setting it aside for retirement (11%).

During the recession, consumers pulled back on spending in a big way. This year, U.S. adults are still looking to save money, especially in the following categories. These numbers are lower than they were earlier this year.

  • Gas/​electricity 55%
  • Vacations 29%
  • Grocery brands 49%
  • Replacement of household items 28%

Consumers still say they feel that a recession-​like economy will drag on their household finances and on the U.S. for another year. Marketers may be cheered to hear that consumers aren’t penny pinching as much as they were, but they are not spending freely, either. Successful promotional campaigns will likely be those that appeal to the general sense of value that consumers are seeking.

To learn more about store brand shoppers, check out the AudienceSCAN report available on the Research Store at ad​-ology​.com.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.