CivicScience continues to track dozens of topics related to how Americans are shifting habits and adapting behaviors while living amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Most recent sentiment data (week of 8/2) showed a slight week over week changes in economic outlook and spending habits. 

Concern about being in public spaces right now is undoubtedly still high but has become less extreme over the last week. Slightly down week-over-week, 80% of U.S. adults report some level of concern about being in public. For the first time since June, “somewhat concerned” has eclipsed “very concerned.”

Another shift this week is that consumers overall felt increasingly optimistic about both the U.S. economy as a whole and their individual financial situations. Overall positive sentiment about the outlook of the U.S. economy 6 months from now is the highest it’s been since the end of June. 

Since this time last month, security (and optimism) in personal finances also improved. On the week of July 12, 22% of U.S. adults said they expect their personal financial situation to improve in 6 months. Most recent data from the week of August 2 show a six percentage point increase (28%). 

Of course, this boost in optimism isn’t across the board – it has a lot to do with income. Almost half of U.S. adults who expect their financial situation to worsen over the next 6 months make under $50,000 annually while 43% of those expecting their personal situations to improve earn more than $100,000 annually.

Along with some economic sentiment improvements, there have also been observed changes in spending habits this week. People going out to eat at least once a week has increased, and the same can be said with people shopping in stores more than they do typically, and more consumers using grocery delivery services. 

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