McKinsey: 43% of consumers delaying purchases

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McKinsey: 43% of consumers delaying purchases

By Marianne Wilson - 04/06/2020

Despite the COVID-19 crisis, Americans consumers are still relatively optimistic but changes in purchasing behavior and spending are becoming more apparent. 

Some 41% of consumers expect the economy to rebound within two to three months, similar to Chinese consumer sentiment, according to a new survey by McKinsey. The U.S. sentiment is much higher than European optimism, which stands at 13 to 25%. 

Despite the relative optimism about the economy’s resilience, the survey revealed significant signs of concern. Forty-four percent of respondents said they will reduce their spending during the next two weeks, and 43% are delaying purchases given the uncertainty of the economic outlook. (The survey was conducted March 23-29.)

In other findings: 

• The intent to spend less has been most dramatic for discretionary purchases: e.g., travel, out-of-home entertainment, apparel/footwear, home furnishings. 

• In the select categories where consumers expect to spend more (e.g., grocery, home-based entertainment and household supplies), consumers expect to focus this spending online.

• Interestingly, while Gen Z reports the biggest reduction in income, their expectations for spending are the most optimistic among the generations surveyed.

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