Consumer Spending Trends: Deal-Seeking Behavior Prevalent

July 25, 2014

Gallup-Consumer-Spending-and-Saving-Trends-July2014Consumers are more likely to be found shopping around for deals than making impulse purchases and going shopping just for fun, details Gallup in newly-released survey results. Some 83% of respondents reported having purchased generic or store brand goods during the 4 weeks prior to the survey, while roughly 6 in 10 reported having shopped at more than one store for similar items to get the best deal (61%) and having gone online to compare prices and find the best deal (59%).

Moreover, 58% have used coupons when shopping and 55% have followed a strict budget.

Interestingly, though, a majority 58% also report having purchased more at the store than originally intended, despite only 38% saying they’ve made an impulse purchase. Few have gone shopping (31%) or made a major purchase that cost at least one week’s pay (27%).

The study release comes after a survey from Harris Interactive, fielded during a similar period, found a year-over-year decrease in the percentage of consumers cutting back on various small-ticket purchases such as print subscriptions. Nevertheless, a majority of respondents reported having purchased more generic brands during the prior 6 months to save money.

Meanwhile, data released separately by Gallup examines spending trends by category, finding that:

  • 59% report spending more on groceries than they did a year ago, versus 10% spending less;
  • 32% are spending more on telephone services, compared to 11% spending less (the balance spending about the same);
  • 33% spending more on cable or satellite, versus 15% spending less;
  • 25% spending more on clothing, compared to 30% spending less;
  • 20% spending more on consumer electronics, against 31% spending less;
  • 26% spending more on both travel and dining out, versus 38% spending less on each.

Gallup analysis suggests that “the increasing cost of essential items is further constraining family budgets” – leading to more spending on essential items and less on discretionary purchases.

About the Data: Results for the Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted June 9-15, 2014, on the Gallup Daily tracking survey, with a random sample of 1,029 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

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