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New Data: Only One-Quarter of Post-Pandemic Consumers Eager To Get Out — and Spend — More

The United States has turned a new corner on the pandemic. Vaccination rates are rising, and, in turn, consumers’ worries about infection are receding. Health is therefore no longer consumers’ primary concern about how the pandemic might impact their lives. Forty-eight percent of consumers say they are still “very” or “extremely” concerned about whether the pandemic might impact their health or the health of those close to them, while 62% now say they are “very” or “extremely” concerned about its ongoing effect on the economy.

This widespread shift in consumers’ attitudes could have far-reaching consequences for both their lives and the broader economy. How is consumers’ new outlook affecting the way they shop and spend?

This is only one of the questions that PYMNTS set out to answer in The Post-Pandemic Consumer At 18 Months: Spending Now, Worrying Later. We surveyed a census-balanced panel of 2,496 U.S. consumers between July 23 and July 28 as part of our ongoing research over the last 18 months into the pandemic’s impact on consumer behavior. We have surveyed more than 24,000 consumers to date.

Our latest research shows that consumers are growing more eager to reengage with the brick-and-mortar economy as their pandemic fears recede. Twenty-seven percent of consumers say they plan to dine out more in the next three months, for example, and 27% say they plan to travel in the U.S. more in that time. There is also 25% who plan to shop in more grocery stores and 14% who intend to spend more of their time working in physical offices.

This eagerness to spend also appears to be accompanied by a looming fear that sometime in the not-too-distant future, consumers may be asked to once again shelter in place. Forty-seven percent of consumers express such fears, indicating that many might be more eager to spend now precisely because they worry they may not have a chance later on.

Worries about future lockdowns are only one of many factors that are driving a broader change in consumers’ outlook on the pandemic, the economy and their spending habits. The Post-Pandemic Consumer At 18 Months: Spending Now, Worrying Later provides a deeper insight into consumers’ ever-changing minds.

To learn more about the latest chapter in this ongoing story, download the brief.

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