Insight

Consumer pulse survey report | Summer 2021

Consumer optimism is strong with travel and experienced-based spend up double digits.

Matt Kramer

Matt Kramer

National Sector Leader, Consumer & Retail, KPMG LLP

+1 614-241-4666

Scott Rankin

Scott Rankin

National Advisory Leader, Consumer & Retail, KPMG LLP

+1 617-988-1474

Julia Wilson

Julia Wilson

Managing Director, Deal Advisory, KPMG US

+1 404-222-3511

In May 2021, KPMG polled 1000 consumers across the U.S. to learn about life after COVID-19 and its impact on their income, employment, sentiments around the economy, purchasing preferences, and predictions for spending across travel, entertainment and restaurants.

Consumer optimism is strong

For the first time since June 2020, the portion of KPMG Consumer pulse survey respondents who believe the economy will return to normal in less than one year increased. Fifty-three percent of respondents now believe their spend will recover within a year.

 

Travel and experience-based spend is high

Since the series began, for the first time categories like restaurants, travel and entertainment are seeing double digit increases in spend: 34 percent increase in anticipated year-over-year (YOY) spend for restaurants, 33 percent for travel and 28 percent for entertainment. Reopening related spending is likely a factor of pent-up demand being released due to vaccination rates combined with loosening COVID-19 restrictions.

Traveling and social events such as going out to eat have the highest expectations of increased activity. 

 

Changes in activities expected in summer 2021 as compared to summer 2020

Contactless spend is here to stay

While online spend is not as high as it was during the peak of the pandemic, current levels of spend show indications that online levels will remain permanently elevated compared to pre-COVID-19 penetration. The predicted increase in in-store vs. online spend for 2021 vs. 2020 is likely a result of respondents being comfortable shopping in person due to vaccinations rates and loosening COVID-19 restrictions.
 
 

Read the survey report

The KPMG consumer pulse survey series explores key, emerging themes around consumer behaviors, purchasing patterns and the economy. Each survey asks 1,000 U.S. consumers, representing all demographics, timely questions about upcoming purchases and economic conditions. We conduct the surveys to help our clients understand consumers, uncover the signals of permanent change and create basis for transforming their businesses to meet customers where they are.

Consumer pulse survey report | Summer 2021
Consumer optimism is strong with travel and experienced-based spend up double digits.

 

Notes: (a)   KPMG conducted seven surveys of over 1,000 consumers across the United States and in all instances they were asked the question, “When COVID-19 is under control, how long do you think it will take for your spending to return to pre-COVID-19 levels?” (b)  In May 2021, KPMG conducted a survey of over 1,000 consumers across the United States and they were asked the question, " Do you expect to do each of the following activities more frequently in summer 2021 than you did in summer 2020?"

Sources:  (1) KPMG Consumer survey, fielded April 2020;  (2) KPMG Consumer survey, fielded June 2020;  (3) KPMG Consumer survey, fielded July 2020;  (4) KPMG Consumer survey, fielded September 2020;  (5) KPMG Consumer survey, fielded January 2021;  (6) KPMG Consumer survey, fielded March 2021;  (7) KPMG Consumer survey, fielded May 2021