Consumers May Be Ready to Ease Cutbacks, Says Harris Poll

U.S. consumers may be ready to loosen their purse strings, according to the latest Harris Poll. The June survey of consumer confidence found some early signs that American adults are less focused on small cutbacks in their family spending compared to a year ago.

Changes in discretionary spending are big driver of small-business and franchise growth, so even small shifts are closely watched by investors, analysts and executives for potential changes in direction. Some early signals include:

  • 56% expect to buy more generic brands in the next six months, down from 62% a year ago
  • 39% expect to take their lunch to work, down from 44% brown-bagging it a year ago
  • 35% expect to decrease hair appointments, down from 39%
  • 56% expect to decrease eating out at restaurants, down from 62%
  • 53% expect to decrease entertainment spending, down from 59%

Confidence for larger-ticket items remained neutral or within similar range of expectation as recent years – 10% expect to buy a home or condo in the next six months, 17% expect to buy or lease a vehicle, and 7% expect to start a new business.

Find more detail, including demographic breakdowns, in the Harris Poll press release.







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