The KPMG consumer pulse survey series explores key, emerging themes around consumer behaviors, purchasing patterns and overall consumer sentiment. We've surveyed 1000 consumers across the U.S. bi-monthly since April 2020, to learn about the effects of COVID-19 on their income, employment and mobility; their sentiments around the economy; and their predictions for spending. We conduct the surveys to help our clients understand consumers, uncover the signals of permanent change and create a basis for transforming their businesses to meet customers where they are.
Results of our latest survey
As the U.S. emerges from COVID-19 impact, the general and business press has been filled with bullish news, including projections the American economy will expand this year at the largest annual rate of growth since 1984.
But KPMG research in The Big Thaw: COVID-19 Consumer pulse Spring report suggests the virus is still dictating economic outcomes. Conditioned by 14 months of grim economic and health news, household financial impact, and workplace and schooling restrictions, consumers—possibly a bit shell shocked—are responding with understandable caution. The fear of going out and aversion habits we noted in our Revive to survive: 2021 retail state of the industry report are softening and thawing, though more tentatively than some expected. As confidence in the efficacy of mass vaccination grows, and the impact of stimulus checks ripple through households, consumers report increased spending across nearly all retail categories, but also share residual wariness about the timing of a full U.S. economic recovery.