Deloitte: Consumers shift to non-discretionary goods during COVID-19
U.S. consumers are prioritizing food over vacations.
According to a new biweekly email survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers by Deloitte, respondents are focusing their purchases on life’s necessities as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The survey measured net spending intent—the percentage of respondents indicating that they will spend more minus the percentage of those who say they will spend less—in a variety of product categories.
Not surprisingly, Deloitte saw a net spending intent increase in less discretionary categories, and categories of products and services that support at-home workers. Overall, respondents’ intended spending will produce a net savings of 4% in their budget.
Net spending intent – non-discretionary categories
• Groceries 40%
• Everyday household goods 30%
• Utilities 16%
• Medicine 11%
• Home internet/mobile phone 11%
• Health care 7%
• Housing 3%
Net spending intent –discretionary categories
• Travel -50%
• Auto fuel/motor oil -38%
• Clothing/apparel/footwear -30%
• Furnishings -27%
• Electronics -19%
• Restaurants/takeout food -18%
• Books -6%
• Alcohol -4%
• Entertainment -4%
• Cable TV 8% (only discretionary category to show positive growth)
Other noteworthy statistics include:
• 42% of respondents are delaying large purchases.
• 34% of respondents feel safe going to a store, 25% feel safe staying in a hotel and 21% feel safe taking a flight.
• Net anxiety among respondents (percentage of respondents who agree/strongly agree they are more anxious than last week minus percentage who disagree/strongly disagree.