CivicScience continually tracks current and anticipated consumer trends. Here are three key insights marketers should know this week. All insights are derived from the CivicScience Social | Political | Economics | Cultural (SPEC) Report, a weekly report available to clients, covering the latest news and insights to help brands better understand consumer behavior and how to communicate with consumers.

1. Democrats report stronger concerns about a government shutdown; Republicans report stronger concerns about the U.S. federal deficit.

Last week, Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen announced Congress may run out of money to pay its bills as early as June 1, 2023. Congress must raise or suspend the debt ceiling in the next 30 days or default on its loans. If an agreement isn’t made, it could result in a financial crisis or a potential government shutdown. 

The latest CivicScience data show that the percentage of Americans who say they are ‘very concerned’ about the federal deficit increased by more than 10 percentage points since November (to 46% at the beginning of May from 35% in November 2022, when ongoing CivicScience tracking showed severe concerns fell to a minimum). Concerns about a government shutdown have also grown this year.

Deficit and government shutdown concerns are both highly partisan issues. Registered Republicans are much likelier to report severe concerns about the U.S. federal deficit (64%) than a government shutdown (23%). Conversely, registered Democrats are more likely to report stronger concerns about a government shutdown (30%) than a federal deficit (21%). Independents are more than twice as likely to say they’re ‘very concerned’ about a federal deficit than a government shutdown. 

2. Concerns about economic consequences following the First Republic Bank collapse align with concerns following the Silicon Valley Bank failure.

Last week marked the third bank failure in two months. First Republic Bank was officially seized by the FDIC, which brokered the sale of the regional bank to JPMorgan Chase. CivicScience has been closely monitoring this issue since the Silicon Valley Bank failure and how these collapses influence consumer trust in banks

The latest data show that nearly 3-in-4 U.S. adults report they’re at least ‘somewhat concerned’ about the economic consequences of the First Republic Bank collapse, which is at a similar level of concern about the SVB collapse in the week following the bank’s failure. See more details in the SPEC Report, available to clients.

3. How concerned are consumers about the side effects of over-the-counter vitamins and supplements, such as melatonin?

Over the last few years, there have been several reports on the efficacy of melatonin, a sleep aid commonly sold over-the-counter. More recently, a medical research study found that some melatonin gummy products were mislabeled with an inaccurate amount of melatonin.

Data show that 53% of U.S. adults report they’re concerned about the potential side effects associated with over-the-counter vitamins and supplements in general (n=3,845). An even greater percentage of Americans who follow health and fitness news are concerned about potential side effects.

This is significant given additional CivicScience data showing more than a third of respondents take melatonin as a sleep aid (n=3,768), and over half of parents with children under age 18 take melatonin (n=586).

Want to see more insights like these? Discover the latest consumer opinions on social, political, economic, and cultural trends in this week’s SPEC report. Clients receive the full SPEC Report every week. Get in touch.