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Consumer
Sentiment Survey

Spring 2023

U.S. consumers clearly all watch similar news reports and hear similar financial headlines: the ‘recession is coming’ drumbeat has gotten through to them, and they expect a slowdown in the coming months. But that’s all theoretical for now and the reality is that the U.S. consumer is still punching – spending plans are up, inflation-fatigue is being overcome, and optimism is back in fashion.

Changes in Consumer Expectations

Overall consumer sentiment is up for the first time in 4 survey cycles, with only 12% of people expecting to have less money over the next 6 months, and more than half expecting to save more over this same period. Younger age groups (23-35) are championing this positive outlook in addition to higher earners.

100%
80%
60%
40%
20%
0%
61%
48%
51%
46%
54%
43%
46%
71%
55%
45%
49%
43%
88%
87%
90%
90%
x
White
61%
LatinX
67%
Black
61%
Asian
45%
White
41%
LatinX
60%
Black
63%
Asian
32%
White
42%
LatinX
63%
Black
69%
Asian
39%
White
39%
LatinX
59%
Black
59%
Asian
51%
x
White
53%
LatinX
60%
Black
59%
Asian
43%
White
36%
LatinX
56%
Black
60%
Asian
41%
White
38%
LatinX
59%
Black
66%
Asian
49%
White
65%
LatinX
85%
Black
81%
Asian
77%
x
White
54%
LatinX
61%
Black
57%
Asian
45%
White
37%
LatinX
56%
Black
65%
Asian
34%
White
39%
LatinX
66%
Black
68%
Asian
49%
White
34%
LatinX
55%
Black
65%
Asian
46%
x
White
89%
LatinX
90%
Black
83%
Asian
91%
White
88%
LatinX
86%
Black
84%
Asian
86%
White
89%
LatinX
94%
Black
90%
Asian
89%
White
91%
LatinX
89%
Black
86%
Asian
91%

Expect things to get better for their family

Plan to save more

Expect to have more money for self & family

Plan to spend the same or more money on Basic Needs

Spending Plans By
Type Of Category

This survey always asks about four main types of spending, and for the first time, all four of these categories are trending up. While basic needs remains the #1 category for spend, this is the first cycle where the change in spending in the other 3 areas (experiences, gifts, and indulgences) outpaces basic needs.

  • Fall ‘21

  • Spring ‘22

  • Fall ‘22

  • Spring ‘23

View Fall ‘21 Demographic Champions View Spring ‘22 Demographic Champions View Fall ‘22 Demographic Champions View Spring ‘23 Demographic Champions
  • Fall ‘21

  • Spring ‘22

  • Fall ‘22

  • Spring ‘23

% Net More (More - Less)

DEMOGRAPHIC CHAMPIONS- Most likely to spend more in each category

Basic Needs: 18%

  • Age: 

    18-22

  • Household Income: 

    $150k+

  • Ethnicity: 

    Non-White

  • Gender: 

    Male

Experiences: -3%

  • Age: 

    23-35

  • Household Income: 

    $150k+

  • Ethnicity: 

    Hispanic

  • Gender: 

    Male

Gifts: -1%

  • Age: 

    18-35

  • Household Income: 

    $150k+

  • Ethnicity: 

    Asian

  • Gender: 

    Male

Indulgences: -9%

  • Age: 

    18-22

  • Household Income: 

    $150k+

  • Ethnicity: 

    Non-White

  • Gender: 

    Male

Basic Needs: 26%

  • Age: 

    18-35

  • Household Income: 

    $150k+

  • Ethnicity: 

    Non-Asian

  • Gender: 

    Male

Experiences: 9%

  • Age: 

    23-35

  • Household Income: 

    $150k+

  • Ethnicity: 

    Hispanic/Black

  • Gender: 

    N/A

Gifts: -5%

  • Age: 

    18-35

  • Household Income: 

    $150k+

  • Ethnicity: 

    Black

  • Gender: 

    Male

Indulgences: -12%

  • Age: 

    23-35

  • Household Income: 

    $150k+

  • Ethnicity: 

    Black

  • Gender: 

    Male

Basic Needs: 21%

  • Age: 

    18-35

  • Household Income: 

    $75-99k

  • Ethnicity: 

    Black

  • Gender: 

    Male

Experiences: -9%

  • Age: 

    23-35

  • Household Income: 

    $150k+

  • Ethnicity: 

    Black

  • Gender: 

    Male

Gifts: -9%

  • Age: 

    23-35

  • Household Income: 

    $150k+

  • Ethnicity: 

    Hispanic/Black

  • Gender: 

    Male

Indulgences: -23%

  • Age: 

    18-22

  • Household Income: 

    $150k+

  • Ethnicity: 

    Black

  • Gender: 

    Male

Basic Needs: 27%

  • Age: 

    23-35

  • Household Income: 

    $150k+

  • Ethnicity: 

    Black

  • Gender: 

    Male

Experiences: 7%

  • Age: 

    23-35

  • Household Income: 

    $150k+

  • Ethnicity: 

    Hispanic

  • Gender: 

    Male

Gifts: 3%

  • Age: 

    23-35

  • Household Income: 

    $150k+

  • Ethnicity: 

    White

  • Gender: 

    Male

Indulgences: -4%

  • Age: 

    23-35

  • Household Income: 

    $150k+

  • Ethnicity: 

    Hispanic

  • Gender: 

    Male

18%
26%
21%
27%
9%
7%
3%
-3%
-9%
-1%
-5%
-9%
-9%
-12%
-23%
-4%

Basic

Experiences

Gifts

Indulgences

View Fall ‘21 Demographic Champions View Spring ‘22 Demographic Champions View Fall ‘22 Demographic Champions View Spring ‘23 Demographic Champions
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Consumer Spending Plans By Category

Respondents’ desire to spend by category further supports the notion that consumers are more optimistic and less concerned for their financial well-being. Customers are purchasing in more non-essential categories compared to fall 2022 – the categories that saw the biggest uplift from fall 2022 include jewelry/accessories, apparel, and entertainment & travel.

  • SPENDING PLANS BY CATEGORY
  • % Net More (More - Less)

18%

Fall ‘21

25%

Spring ‘22

22%

Fall ‘22

19%

Spring ‘23

-12%

Fall ‘21

-10%

Spring ‘22

6%

Fall ‘22

4%

Spring ‘23

-1%

Fall ‘21

8%

Spring ‘22

3%

Fall ‘22

3%

Spring ‘23

-8%

Fall ‘21

-8%

Spring ‘22

-4%

Fall ‘22

0%

Spring ‘23

-16%

Fall ‘21

-16%

Spring ‘22

-13%

Fall ‘22

-3%

Spring ‘23

5%

Fall ‘21

6%

Spring ‘22

-12%

Fall ‘22

-5%

Spring ‘23

0%

Fall ‘21

1%

Spring ‘22

-18%

Fall ‘22

-6%

Spring ‘23

-10%

Fall ‘21

0%

Spring ‘22

-18%

Fall ‘22

-7%

Spring ‘23

-7%

Fall ‘21

-11%

Spring ‘22

-20%

Fall ‘22

-7%

Spring ‘23

-7%

Fall ‘21

-8%

Spring ‘22

-21%

Fall ‘22

-9%

Spring ‘23

-7%

Fall ‘21

-9%

Spring ‘22

-17%

Fall ‘22

-10%

Spring ‘23

-11%

Fall ‘21

-13%

Spring ‘22

-22%

Fall ‘22

-11%

Spring ‘23

-11%

Fall ‘21

-12%

Spring ‘22

-23%

Fall ‘22

-14%

Spring ‘23

-15%

Fall ‘21

-15%

Spring ‘22

-24%

Fall ‘22

-14%

Spring ‘23

-23%

Fall ‘21

-23%

Spring ‘22

-28%

Fall ‘22

-17%

Spring ‘23

-19%

Fall ‘21

-18%

Spring ‘22

-33%

Fall ‘22

-20%

Spring ‘23
Retailers need to take quick action to capitalize on
this change in consumers’ desire to spend this spring
– we don’t know how long it will last.

Inflation Pressure

Inflation continues to impact consumers, with the number of people expecting prices to continue to rise is virtually unchanged when compared to fall 2022 (65%).

Price Expectations – Next 6 Months

  • EXPECT PRICES TO FALL
  • EXPECT PRICES TO RISE
  • EXPECT PRICES TO STAY THE SAME
6%
65%
29%
9%
65%
26%

Spring ‘23

Fall ‘22

6%
65%
29%
9%
65%
26%

Spring ‘23

Fall ‘22

DON’T KNOW/NO OPINION 15%
18% WILL BE IN THE NEXT 6 MONTHS
16% WILL BE IN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS
20% WILL NOT BE IN THE NEXT 6 MONTHS
54%
18% Will Be In Next
6 Months
16% Will Be In Next
7-12 Months
20% Will Not Be In Next
12 Months
NOT CURRENTLY IN A RECESSION
31%
XX% WILL BE IN THE NEXT 6 MONTHS
XX% WILL BE IN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS
XX% WILL NOT BE IN THE NEXT 6 MONTHS
CURRENTLY IN A RECESSION

Recession Expectations

In addition to inflation expectations, we asked consumers about a potential U.S. recession, and the results are surprising. Over two thirds of consumers believe the U.S. is already in a recession or will be in one within the next year. Although consumers’ personal financial optimism has increased this spring, 61% said they are already taking action to prepare for a recession.

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Vacation Plans

Despite economic concerns, vacation spend is up versus last year – half of respondents are taking a vacation this year and only 37% reported taking one last spring. International travel plans have also increased with 31% of vacationers planning to travel outside of the United States, +12% to last year (spring 2022 survey). Cost is the biggest barrier to taking a vacation this spring/summer at 39%.

Vacation Plans

Despite economic concerns, vacation spend is up versus last year – half of respondents are taking a vacation this year and only 37% reported taking one last spring. International travel plans have also increased with 31% of vacationers planning to travel outside of the United States, +12% to last year (spring 2022 survey). Cost is the biggest barrier to taking a vacation this spring/summer at 39%.

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Spring ‘23 spring ‘22
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Airplane Icon

Taking a vacation this Spring/Summer

Airplane Calendar

If Taking a vacation this Spring/Summer

49% No 10% Took one last year

Why consumers are not vacationing this spring/summer:

  • I cannot afford a vacation
    39%
  • I cannot take time off work
    14%
  • I am saving to increase my financial security
    13%
  • I do not have a desire to take a vacation
    12%
  • I am prioritizing/saving for another significant purchase
    12%
  • I do not want to travel due to health concerns
    9%
51% 45% 27% 24%
Yes Took one last year
49% 55% 10% 13%
No Took one last year
69% 81%
Traveling Domestically
31% 19%
Traveling Internationally

Sustainability

Sustainability awareness continues to grow even during recessionary fears and inflationary pressures. We are still seeing shoppers’ willingness to pay more for an environmentally friendly product decreases as age increases, but contrary to 6 months ago, there is a much more even ethnic split when considering sustainability, but whites appear as the sustainability champions this spring.

  • Fall ‘22
  • Spring ‘23
63%
67%

Most Concerned

  • Age: 18-35 year olds
  • Ethnicity: Non-white

Least Concerned

  • Age: 56-80 year olds
  • Ethnicity: White
68%
76%

Most Concerned

  • Age: 23-35 year olds
  • Ethnicity: White

Least Concerned

  • Age: 56-80 year olds
  • Ethnicity: Asian

At least sometimes consider an item’s sustainability prior to purchase

Willing to pay at least slightly more for a product that is environmentally friendly

Demographic Champions
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