Principal® Reports Consumers Spending Less, Shopping Differently in an Uncertain Year
December 14, 2020 at 07:00 AM EST
Research from Principal Financial Group® released today indicates higher stress levels and less holiday spending among U.S. consumers as many continue to navigate the economic impacts of COVID-19. For those who are planning to spend, a majority will do so online and are decreasing expenses on travel, dining out, and entertainment.
“2020 was a challenging year for many individuals, families, and businesses, and it’s not surprising that many are having to change their typical holiday spending habits,” said Sri Reddy, senior vice president, Retirement and Income Solutions at Principal®. “While it can be difficult to cut back, particularly during this time of year, less spending today can help make 2021 less financially stressful and support a more secure, long-term financial future.”
For the past three years, Principal has taken a pulse of the general consumer market just prior to the holiday season to understand sentiment and outlook, as well as overall holiday spending plans. This year, COVID-19 related questions were added to learn about the direct impact on shopping intentions.
Key 2020 survey findings
Consumers share 2021 financial plans
Financial resolutions for next year are similar to 2020 goals, with top priorities being saving more each month (42%), reducing spending (40%), and paying off credit card debt (30%). Those with kids or those with incomes greater than $50k were significantly more likely to develop resolutions. Those 55+ were least likely to make a resolution (26%).
Heading into the new year, consumers are less concerned about gas prices, immigration, terrorism, health care changes, and personal data breaches than previous years. Instead, top consumer concerns include politics (47%), staying healthy (43%), economic uncertainty (42%), and food prices (40%) in 2021.
“As we approach 2021, we’ll continue to work with customers to build on past financial decisions and help them feel more secure and confident in those that are ahead,” said Reddy.
Access the full report here.
The Holiday Spending & 2021 Financial Outlook Methodology
The Holiday Spending & 2021 Financial Outlook results come from an online CARAVAN survey of 1,003 U.S. consumers over the age of 18. The survey was conducted by Engine Insights from October 21 - 23, 2020. Completed interviews are weighted by 5 variables: age, gender, geographic region, race, and education to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population (18 years of age and older). Each respondent is assigned a single weight derived from the relationship between the actual proportion of the population based on U.S. Census data with a specific combination of the 5 variables listed above. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error including but limited to sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponses, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments.
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