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Survey Results: The Consumer Sentiment Study

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The Consumer Sentiment Study is a quarterly survey from Marcus by Goldman Sachs®, which aims to track Americans’ perception of current and future financial climates, market conditions and plans for their money. In each installment, Marcus will release new data to provide a window into the pulse of the consumer as it pertains to personal finance and spending behavior over time in the United States.

The Consumer Sentiment Survey was conducted among a nationally representative sample (using U.S. Census data) of 1,501 Americans. The survey was conducted June 22-25, 2020.

This Consumer Sentiment Study was fielded amidst extraordinary circumstances, from the continued spread of COVID-19 to global protests around racial injustice. Further, it was recently confirmed by the National Bureau of Economic Research that the United States officially entered a recession in February of this year as the pandemic crippled the economy. Our study tracks the effects of these historic events on consumer behavior. 

At Marcus, we remain committed to listening and learning from consumers. We hope you will find the results interesting and informative.

We are interested in how people are getting along financially these days. Would you say that you are better off or worse off financially than you were 6 months ago?

  • More than three-quarters of Americans (77%) feel they are the same or worse off financially than they were 6 months ago.

Now looking ahead – do you think that 6 months from now you will be better off financially, or worse off, or just about the same as now?

  • Almost a third of Americans (32%) think that in 6 months from now they will be better off financially than they are now.

How long do you think it will take for the U.S. economy to make a full recovery and return to pre-COVID-19 levels of activity?

  • One in four Americans (25%) think that it will take the U.S. economy 6-12 months to make a full recovery and return to pre-COVID-19 levels of activity.

How long do you think it will be before you feel comfortable returning to the following activities?

  • Americans think it will take less than a year before they feel comfortable returning to certain activities such as: shopping at brick-and-mortar store locations (77%), followed by dining out at restaurants (74%) and going to a live sporting event or concert with a large crowd (51%).

Compared to your pre-COVID behavior, how do you anticipate that your spending will change in the following areas in the coming months?

  • Compared to their pre-COVID behavior, Americans anticipate spending the same or more in areas such as shopping for clothes, shoes, jewelry, or other similar items (64%), followed by dining out at restaurants (53%) and domestic travel (52%).

Quarterly Consumer Sentiment Study Overview

The Consumer Sentiment Survey was conducted by Marcus by Goldman Sachs in June 2020 among 1,501 Americans.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for individualized professional advice. Articles on this site were commissioned and approved by Marcus by Goldman Sachs®, but may not reflect the institutional opinions of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Goldman Sachs Bank USA or any of their affiliates, subsidiaries or divisions.