Sorry for interrupting, this website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Learn more
Accept and close



Covered in this report

The numbers say that unemployment is down, GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is up, and consumer confidence is only down slightly compared to last year at this time. Economists would say that the economy is doing well. So then why is there still such hesitation? Today’s culture seems to tell a tale of two forces – one of facts and one of feelings. The numbers say that the economy has recovered from the Great Recession of 2008, but how do consumers feel? The vast majority of consumers feel that their current financial situation is healthy or OK (see Current Financial Situation), but those making less than $50,000 per year are less confident about their finances. When asked about the economy in the coming year, only 29% of consumers think that it will remain strong (see Opinions on the Economy). Consumers are hedging their bets and remaining cautious about the future.

"The majority of consumers consider their finances to be healthy, and views of the future seem to be positive as well. Consumers are saving for the future, but are still willing to treat themselves."
- Jennifer White Boehm, Associate Director - Financial Services & Auto

This report will look at the following areas:

  • consumers' current financial situation
  • how they use extra money
  • how they cut spending due to unexpected life events

What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
      • Consumers are contradictory – want to both save and treat themselves
        • Non-essential spending remains non-essential
          • Consumers are not incredibly confident about the future of the economy
          • State of the Economy

            • Economic overview
              • Figure 1: Key economic indicators as of November 2019
            • Unemployment hovering around 3-4%
              • Figure 2: Unemployment and underemployment, January 2009-October 2019
            • Consumer confidence not solely connected to unemployment
              • Figure 3: Consumer confidence and unemployment, 2000 – October 2019
              • Figure 4: Consumer Sentiment Index, January 2009-November 2019
            • GDP growth reflects positive advance for economy
              • Figure 5: GDP change from previous period, Q1 2009-Q3 2019
            • Yield curve dips, but quickly recovers – signaling the possibility of a slight recession
              • Figure 6: Yield curve, 2013-19
          • Current Financial Situation

            • Consumers heading into 2020 with healthy finances
              • Figure 7: Current financial situation, November 2019
            • Consumer outlook on finances remains strong
              • Figure 8: Current financial situation, Q1 2017–Q3 2019
            • Older consumers feel the most stable, but generally “OK” prevails
              • Figure 9: Current financial situation, by gender and age, November 2019
          • Using Extra Money

            • Consumers are both saving and treating themselves
              • Figure 10: Using extra money, November 2019
            • Younger consumers are more self-interested; older look to the future
              • Figure 11: Using extra money, by age and gender, November 2019
          • Spending Cuts

            • Personal treats are the first expense to be cut
              • Figure 12: Spending cuts after income loss, November 2019
            • Women more likely to sacrifice, while men are more split
              • Figure 13: Using extra money, November 2019
          • Finances after Job Loss

            • Nearly 30% of consumers would significantly struggle after six months without work
              • Figure 14: Financial situation after job loss, November 2019
            • Women more likely to feel they’re struggling after extended unemployment
              • Figure 15: Financial situation after job loss, by age and gender, November 2019
          • Opinions on the Economy

            • Consumers waver on confidence to survive loss of income
              • Figure 16: Thoughts on the current economy, November 2019
            • Younger consumers more susceptible to economic job loss
              • Figure 17: Effects of recession on employment and savings, November 2019
            • Men are more confident in the future economy than women
              • Figure 18: Economic predictions, by age and gender, November 2019
          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

            • Data sources
              • Consumer survey data
                • Abbreviations and terms
                  • Abbreviations
                    • Terms

                    This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

                    • Market

                      Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.

                    • Consumer

                      Mintel's proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.

                    • Brand/Company

                      Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.

                    • Data

                      Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

                    Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted.

                    Trusted by companies. Big and small.