Home > Consumer Behavior & Trends, Economy, Executive Briefing, Monthly Consumer Survey, Retail > Up, Up, and Away: Consumers Talk Rising Prices

Up, Up, and Away: Consumers Talk Rising Prices

Consumers are still hyped up over inflated prices on many common household purchases, including food and gasoline, according to the latest results from BIGinsight™ Monthly Consumer Survey.

In our March survey, we asked our 9,000+ respondents the direction they felt prices were headed for items like children’s clothing, electronics, jeans, and of course the aforementioned food and fuel. We then tabulated this data (asked on a 5 point Likert scale, from “Significantly Less” to “Significantly More”) into our easy-to-read Diffusion Index, and – voila! – another informative blog post.

Let’s start with the hard facts:
– We asked about a broad range of products, from different types of apparel to items found around the home to staples. We are serving up a sampling of the results here.
– None of the items we price-checked with consumers ended up with a negative Diffusion Index (i.e. there was no consensus that any one item was more likely to decline in price rather than rise).
– FYI: an index of zero would mean that the vote was split on the decline-or-rise debate.

How do you expect prices will change over the next 6 months for the following items?Probably not-so-surprisingly, consumers pegged Gasoline as the item most likely to pump up in price over the next six months (index = 70.4), while Food followed with a nearly as impressive score (index = 63.2). Concerns with textile prices are still evident with more consumers [than not] anticipating that the cost of a pair of jeans or a fashion top will elevate this year.

What might be most surprising about this data? Among all of the items that we surveyed, Electronics received the lowest index (at 29.4). But that Apple iPad 2 can now be had for $399, right?

The key takeaway here is that consumers are hedging against rising prices – meaning that they will curb spending in other areas to compensate. While confidence did uptick in March, we also saw rising proclivities toward practicality and saving. Stay tuned for next week when we reveal how consumers are coping in April.

For more information on this data, please contact BIGinsight™.

Source: BIGinsight™ Monthly Consumer Survey – MAR-12 (N = 9242, 3/6 – 3/13/12)

© 2012, Prosper®

BIGinsight™ is a trademark of Prosper Business Development Corp.


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