42% of North Americans Plan to Spend on Discretionary Items This Year

May 7, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Asia-Pacific | Europe & Middle East | Global & Regional | Media & Entertainment | Travel & Hospitality

Nielsen-North-American-Consumer-Spending-Intentions-May2013North Americans are becoming more confident in spending, according to [download page] results from a Nielsen survey of consumer confidence and spending intentions. In Q1, 42% of respondents (all surveyed online) said they plan to spend on discretionary items this year, up from 36% the previous quarter. Within the US, 23% said they will spend on home improvement and decorating projects, a significant jump from 17% who responded that way in Q4 2012. Additionally, 22% are planning to take a vacation, up 2% quarter-over-quarter, with the same figures applying to out-of-home entertainment spending.

Still the researchers note that “the increase in reported discretionary spending is not a rising tide affecting all ships.” Indeed, 28% of respondents in the US reported having no spare cash.

In Canada, while more respondents reported saving intentions (up 5% points to 40%), spending intentions for new clothes and out-of-home entertainment each experienced a 4% point jump, to 22% and 19% of respondents, respectively.

Other Findings:

  • North Americans were more likely than respondents in Asia-Pacific (39%), Latin America (3%%), Middle East/Africa (33%) and Europe (27%) to plan to spend on discretionary items.
  • The proportion of Americans planning to spend on clothing dropped 2% points quarter-over-quarter to 25%.

About the Data: The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted Feb. 18-March 8, 2013 and polled more than 29,000 online consumers in 58 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based on the behavior of respondents with online access only. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60 percent Internet penetration or 10 million online population for survey inclusion.

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