Consumers Don’t Plan Big Ticket Spending

October 4, 2010

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Automotive | Data-driven | Financial Services | Food & Restaurants | Retail & E-Commerce

American consumers are unlikely to spend money on big ticket items in the next six months, according to the results of a new Harris Poll.

Increased Big Ticket Spending Plans are Rare
For the most part, Americans are not planning to make purchases in a number of big ticket areas in the next six months. The big ticket purchase Americans are most likely to make, a vacation away from home lasting longer than a week, only has 31% of Americans polled saying they are likely to spend money in the next six months.


Vacations are trailed by buying a new computer (21%) and moving to a different residence (17%). More expensive items, such as new cars/trucks/vans (12%), houses/condos (10%), new businesses (10%) and boats/recreational vehicles (6%), have even fewer people planning to spend money in the near future.

Unsurprisingly considering these results, only 28% of Americans think they will have more money to spend the way they want in the next six months.

Reduced Non-discretionary Spending Likely
Conversely, a majority of Americans plan to decrease spending in the next six months in the non-discretionary areas of eating out at restaurants (66%) and entertainment (62%). Only 52% of Americans plan to increase savings/investments in the next months, however, suggesting a large portion of the money diverted from restaurants and other entertainment will go toward paying for more essential purchases, rather than into savings and/or investment vehicles.

Jobs, Housing Flatten Consumer Spending
Americans’ intentions for spending during the next six months reflect current spending trends, according to the most recent Deloitte Consumer Spending Index results. The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index remained unchanged in August 2010 compared with July 2010, with a lack of improvement due primarily to housing and unemployment. The Index attempts to track consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending.

The Index, comprising four components: tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices, remained at 4.73%, steady with the previous month.

About the Data: This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between September 14-20, 2010 among 2,620 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.

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