Why is consumer spending still lagging? People remain concerned about their health and job security—and reluctant to travel for either work or vacation.
Key insights about US consumers from Deloitte’s State of the Consumer Tracker
- The pandemic continues to drive consumer anxiety about their well-being. In the latest survey, 59% of respondents were concerned about their health and that of their family (figure 1). Nearly a third of respondents were more anxious in the current week than the prior one, with around 63% of them attributing this rise in anxiety to the virus.
- Fears of contracting the virus have hit consumer spending on transportation, recreational services, and accommodation. Consumers, for example, are wary of shared forms of communal travel: About 57% of respondents intend to limit their use of public transportation, while 55% plan to do so for ride-hailing services (figure 2). Remote work has also contributed to the fall in transportation spending—a third of respondents still work from home every day. Taking a vacation appears to be a step too far for many, with a sizable share of respondents still hesitant to take a flight or stay in a hotel (figure 3).
- It’s not just the virus that is weighing on consumer spending—labor market conditions are also playing a part. Despite improving since April, unemployment is still relatively high at 7.9%. And many of those who are employed—27.8% of respondents in the survey—are concerned about their jobs (figure 4).