More Consumers Feel Safe and Sound...and Ready to Spend
Number of the Day: The most relevant or interesting figure in personal finance
That’s the share of U.S. consumers who now feel safe going to a store, the highest level since the start of the pandemic, according to monthly survey findings from the consulting firm Deloitte.
The latest survey, taken Feb. 25 to March 3, marks the largest one-month jump in confidence about store safety since Deloitte started tracking consumers’ attitudes about the COVID-19 pandemic. Just a month earlier it was 55%.
As vaccines continue to be rolled out and the number of virus cases drop, consumers are feeling less anxious about engaging in a myriad of activities, according to the survey findings, released Monday. Setting pandemic-era highs across the board, more people said they’d be comfortable engaging in a person-to-person service like getting their hair done (56% from 51% the previous month), staying at a hotel (48% from 41%), going to a restaurant (48% from 41%), attending to in-person events like concerts (31% from 25%), and taking a flight (36% from 31%.)
The findings bode well for economic growth forecasts that have in some cases doubled in recent months on expectations that the federal government’s latest cash relief and accelerating vaccination efforts will unleash pent-up consumer demand. Expectations for future spending are at their highest level since 2014, and the National Retail Federation is forecasting a boom in retail sales this year.