Another week, another round of the latest data from CivicScience examining COVID recovery, consumer spending, and how current events are changing behaviors by the day, if not by the hour.
COVID Concern–or Lack Thereof–holds Strong
COVID cases continue to decline in the U.S. this week, and nearly half (46%) of the general population still feel not at all concerned about being in public spaces right now as a result.
Consumer comfort continues to gradually increase for activities such as shopping in stores, traveling, and going to major public events.
The data show that fewer people are planning to order takeout from a restaurant this week as more people opt to dine in instead. However, restaurants all around should note that overall plans to get food from a restaurant have slightly decreased this week among U.S. adults.
Financial Worries Spurred From Russia-Ukraine Unrest Creep Upward
While general concern about the Russia-Ukraine war slightly declined this week, an increasing portion of U.S. adults are feeling very concerned about their personal finances being affected by the unrest (30%, up 6pp).
Ongoing CivicScience tracking also shows that concerns over inflation and supply chain issues in the U.S. remain high.
Pain at the Pump
Most notable is people are feeling especially uneasy about rising gas and energy prices. The percentage of those who feel very concerned about gas and energy prices rose to 54% this week, the highest figure observed since last spring.
Rising gas prices may be driving people to fill up their tanks before prices only get worse. Nearly 4 in 5 car owners have purchased gas for their car in the last week.
Those who have purchased gas for their car in the last week are much more likely to be concerned about gas and energy prices right now.
Even more revealing is more than a third of drivers report they’re driving less than they normally would right now.
This consumer behavior is likely a direct effect of price woes. Those who are very or somewhat concerned about gas and energy prices are 3x as likely to be driving less than usual right now.
Looking ahead, the vast majority of U.S. adults (71%) expect gas prices to only be worse six months from now.
Learn more about our COVID Recovery and Consumer Spending Tracker, which the above data is just a snippet of.