While they’ve tightened their wallets on some splurges like maid service and high-end jewelry, they’re not giving up their electronics, on-demand television or Internet service.
“Economic ups and downs have an irrefutable impact on Americans’ spending habits that extends well beyond gas and groceries and over the past five years many consumers have had to rein in spending as fiscal woes plagued budgets,” STORES magazine Editor Susan Reda said in a statement. “The most recent findings suggest that consumers are loosening the grip they’ve had on their wallets – though admittedly just slightly. What’s also evident is that consumers, after several years of practice, are adapting to the ‘new normal’ of an uncertain economy.”
Consumers said the following luxuries were “untouchable” throughout the recession.
(Percentage of Americans who said they wouldn’t give these things up)
|Mobile/cell phone service (basic)||61.4||67.2||64.4||62.3||64.1|
|Cable/satellite TV (basic)||57.0||59.6||60.8||62.6||60.5|
|Discount shopping for apparel||41.0||53.2||52.2||49.0||43.0|
(Percentage who said the following items were “expendible.”)
On average, 53.9 percent of adults said they cut back on some items and services in 2012, down from more than three-quarters who said they’d done so in 2011. And, as a possible sign that consumers have adjusted to budgetary constraints, almost every category saw a year-over-year decrease in the number of people who plan to cut back on items and services:
|Daily cup of gourmet coffee||28.8||40.8||35.6||38.2||36.9|
|New pair of jeans||45.0||54.2||55.0||55.8||54.7|
|Casual sit down restaurant||49.1||54.0||57.5||63.0||62.1|
|Department store shopping for apparel||39.6||50.0||47.4||50.9||51.6|
|New pair of shoes||43.1||50.8||51.5||53.7||51.9|