Americans are facing increasing budget crunches regarding spending on household essentials this summer, according to a July 23rd report by researchers at Gallup.
To respond, American consumers say in the past four weeks 83% purchased generic or store brand goods, 61% tried to get better deals by shopping at more than one store for similar items, 59% went online to compare prices, 58% used coupons when shopping, 55% followed a strict budget, and 40% purchased used goods to save money.
Gallup monthly spending tracker also found that the average U.S. consumer daily spending slid from $98 in May to $91 in June. The month is generally considered the best for new jobs, and this was the first dip in seven years. Gallup commented:
Consumers’ spending decisions this summer underscore the tension between doing what is right for the larger economy (more spending) and doing what is right for their own personal or household economy (spending responsibly and reducing expenses). Overall, Americans’ spending habits are bad news for the larger U.S. economy.
This new sense of concern about the cost of basics is leading 53% of Americans to “strongly agree” when asked if they are careful about spending their money, with another 22% mostly agreeing. Only 16% say they immediately spend money they receive.
Despite Gallup’s employment measures being “unmistakably positive” and at a four-year high, according to Gallup’s Job Creation Index, the American consumer is described as trying to do more with less. “Discounting has become so ubiquitous that it is possible that consumers will avoid retailers who do not discount. While Americans are spending more on household essentials, they have less available to spend on discretionary items, such as leisure activities, travel, dining out, and consumer electronics.”
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From July 15th to July 29th, Chriss Street is teaching
“Entrepreneurship and Capitalist Business Strategy”
at Ho Chi Minh University in Vietnam.