Despite comfort levels in resuming normal activities increasing or holding steady since last week, we see that increased comfort levels do not directly translate to increased spending.

In-store shopping and plans to dine out are on the decline this week among U.S. adults. 

And intent to travel in the next month has slightly decreased as well (58%, down 2pp).

Extreme concern about inflation has reached a new high (with those who feel “very concerned” up 10pp from early April and 17pp since the beginning of the year). Meanwhile, extreme concern about gas and energy prices has also reached another record high, with nearly two-thirds of adults expressing that they’re “very concerned” about this right now (+3pp since last week). 

Consumers are anticipating increased spending in the grocery store and are expecting their grocery spend to increase in the next month compared to last. 

Efforts to conceal higher prices with smaller packaging, or “shrinkflation,” have not gone unnoticed. About four-in-five grocery shoppers report that they have noticed packaging getting smaller (without decreased pricing) at least once or twice recently, and more than half have noticed this several times.

And most consumers are not on board with these changes; over a third of grocery shoppers would prefer to pay more for the same amount rather than pay the same amount for less—and about half of grocery shoppers would rather switch brands or stop buying the item altogether. 

Lower-income households and larger households are more likely to respond to “shrinkflation” by either switching to less expensive brands or stopping buying items altogether.

Check back in each week as we continue to monitor COVID recovery and consumer spending.