Welcome!

News Feed Item

Signs of Optimism - or at least, Acceptance - in American Spending Trends

Small and big ticket spending indicators up, in conjunction with diminished pessimism toward household financial prospects

NEW YORK, Jan. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As 2014 approaches the end of its first month, many Americans are still sorting out their financial plans for the near future. With the government actually open for business – an improvement over last October – it should be a foregone conclusion that Americans may be facing the future with a bit more spring in their spending plans than in September of 2013, when the much-discussed federal shutdown was looming. But what about year over year? Are Americans loosening their purse strings or doubling down on pinching pennies?

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100517/NY06256LOGO )

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,311 adults surveyed online between December 11 and 17, 2013 by Harris Interactive. Results are compared, where appropriate, to both September 2013 findings (just prior to the aforementioned shutdown) and November of 2012 (just over one year earlier). (Complete findings, including data tables, can be found here)

Big ticket attitudes bounce back
Americans are less likely than in September to say that they plan on decreasing their spending on eating out at restaurants (55%, down 7 points) and reducing spending on entertainment (52%, down 9 points) within the next six months.

On the other hand, U.S. adults are more likely to say they will save or invest more money within the next six months (58%), when compared to both last September (up 11 points) and the previous November (up 8 points). Americans are also more likely to say that they will take a vacation away from home lasting longer than a week (38%, up 11 points from Sept. 2013 and 9 points from Nov. 2012) and that they will have more money to spend the way they want (38%, up 10 and 8 points, respectively).

Rural Americans seem less optimistic than their urban and suburban counterparts: they are less likely to say they anticipate saving or investing more money (50% rural vs. 60% urban and 60% suburban), taking a vacation away from home lasting longer than a week (30% vs. 39% and 41%, respectively), and having more money to spend the way they want (28% vs. 41% and 40%, respectively).

Small ticket spending plans also on the rise
There are signs of growth in small ticket expenditures as well, with modest year over year drops in going to the hairdresser/barber/stylist less often (34%, down 4 points from Nov. 2012), cancelling one or more magazine subscriptions (24%, down 3 points) and cutting down on dry cleaning (15%, down 3 points) over the past six months.

More prevalent are changes vs. last September, with results again indicating Americans are making fewer spending sacrifices:

  • Going to the hairdresser/barber/stylist less often (34%, down 7 points)
  • Cancelled or cut back cable television (21%, down 6 points)
  • Cut down on dry cleaning (15%, down 5 points)
  • Purchasing more generic brands (58%, down 4 points)
  • Brown bagging lunch instead of purchasing it (42%, down 4 points)
  • Switched to refillable water bottle instead of purchasing bottles of water (33%, down 4 points)
  • Cancelled one or more magazine subscriptions (24%, down 4 points)

Is "not getting worse" good enough?
It's tempting to look at these small and big ticket indicators as signs that American attitudes toward the economy are improving – and this is true, up to a point. Over two in ten Americans (22%) expect their household's financial condition to improve in the next six months; this is comparable to a year prior (23%).

However, more notable is a trend away from the expectation that Americans' household financial conditions will get worse, which at 27% is down 5 points from a year ago. Expectation that it will remain the same, at 51%, is up 7 points.

These attitudinal shifts, coupled with recent and planned spending trends, may be indicating that Americans feel they have cut back enough, and that if things aren't going to get better for them any time soon, then they'll at least settle for things not getting any worse.

To see other recent Harris Polls, please visit the Harris Poll News Room.

Want Harris Polls delivered direct to your inbox? Click here!

Methodology
This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between December 11 and 17, 2013 among 2,311 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

The Harris Poll® #7, January 22, 2014

By Larry Shannon-Missal, Harris Poll Research Manager

About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for The Harris Poll®, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research across a wide range of industries. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing a client's research investment. Serving clients worldwide through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help our clients stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

Press Contact:
Corporate Communications
Harris Interactive
212-539-9600
[email protected]

SOURCE Harris Interactive

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed...
When building large, cloud-based applications that operate at a high scale, it’s important to maintain a high availability and resilience to failures. In order to do that, you must be tolerant of failures, even in light of failures in other areas of your application. “Fly two mistakes high” is an old adage in the radio control airplane hobby. It means, fly high enough so that if you make a mistake, you can continue flying with room to still make mistakes. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee...
With the proliferation of both SQL and NoSQL databases, organizations can now target specific fit-for-purpose database tools for their different application needs regarding scalability, ease of use, ACID support, etc. Platform as a Service offerings make this even easier now, enabling developers to roll out their own database infrastructure in minutes with minimal management overhead. However, this same amount of flexibility also comes with the challenges of picking the right tool, on the right ...
DevOps is not just last year’s buzzword. Companies with DevOps practices are 2.5x more likely to exceed profitability, market share, and productivity goals. But how do you enable high performance? What can you do right now to start? Find out from DevOps experts including Gene Kim, co-author of "The Phoenix Project," and the Dynatrace Center of Excellence.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Column Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Established in 1998, Column Technologies is a global technology solutions provider with over 400 employees, headquartered in the United States with offices in Canada, India, and the United Kingdom. Column Technologies provides “Best of Breed” technology solutions that automate the key DevOps principal...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
As someone who has been dedicated to automation and Application Release Automation (ARA) technology for almost six years now, one of the most common questions I get asked regards Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Specifically, people want to know whether release automation is still needed when a PaaS is in place, and why. Isn't that what a PaaS provides? A solution to the deployment and runtime challenges of an application? Why would anyone using a PaaS then need an automation engine with workflow ...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn’t require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbuilding of data centers ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
CIOs and those charged with running IT Operations are challenged to deliver secure, audited, and reliable compute environments for the applications and data for the business. Behind the scenes these tasks are often accomplished by following onerous time-consuming processes and often the management of these environments and processes will be outsourced to multiple IT service providers. In addition, the division of work is often siloed into traditional "towers" that are not well integrated for cro...