Consumers plan to cut expenses across nearly every discretionary spending category, according to a new survey of more than 6,500 U.S. consumers, conducted by InMoment (www.inmoment.com), a provider of customer experience management programs. The top segments in which consumers say they are cutting spending are fine dining, furnishings, electronics, bars, airlines, hotels, clothing and department stores. By contrast, staples including gas, pharmacy and grocery are not seeing declines compared to survey findings from this time last year. Consumers are cutting the least on gas, with nearly nine out of 10 spending the same or more. When it comes to grocery, only one in five consumers reported a spending reduction, versus 25 percent who expect to spend more. The survey also found that one in four is cutting spending on pharmaceuticals, with 60 percent spending the same and 15 percent spending more.
The top two reasons consumers are cutting spending include concern about taking on more debt, and having to pay more for basic housing and utility costs, the survey reveals. Consumers’ top three areas of concern include the economy (31 percent), debt (25 percent) and job security (19 percent). Sixty percent said their financial situation is more difficult than it was six months ago, while nearly a third said their situation is the same. Despite financial difficulty, some consumers are more optimistic about their financial situation when looking ahead. Results show that one in three thinks their financial situation will be much better or somewhat better in the future, and nearly half of 18 to 24 year-olds have a positive outlook on their financial situations.