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How Economic Stress and Inflation Are Changing Consumer Behaviors

A Look at US Consumers Amid Rising Costs and Uncertainty

About This Report
Consumers are feeling increasingly uneasy about the economic future. Despite a strong US job market, inflation and a potential recession remain top of mind for many. How are consumers adapting to this uncertain economic climate?

Executive Summary

US consumers overcame the initial pandemic lockdowns, hopeful for an economic boom and the end of uncertainties. But the last two years have been full of twists and turns that left many consumers pessimistic about the future. Companies should proactively prepare for consumer behavior changes as they grapple with rising concerns of inflation and recession.

Key Question: What signals are consumers sending about their priorities as they navigate this turbulent economy?

KEY STAT: Inflation impact is uneven across spending categories. Consumers are cutting back on discretionary spending almost as much as on the essentials, despite being more sensitive to price hikes on essentials.


Jingqiu Ren


Eleni Digalaki
Principal Analyst
Dave Frankland
Principal Analyst, Marketing
Ann Marie Kerwin
VP, Content
Jennifer Pearson
VP, Research
Amy Rotondo
Director, US Research
Lauren Ruhlen
Debra Aho Williamson
Principal Analyst
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