This month’s Consumer Snapshot video is a brief look at consumer confidence and practical purchase intentions. For October, we also review the Halloween spending trends we released with the National Retail Federation.
Highlights from the October 2017 Consumer Snapshot:
In October, economic sentiment rebounds after three months of decline. This month, 53.9% of consumers are confident or very confident in the economy, rising about 2 points from last month and increasing more than 25% year over year. The current reading is tracking just ahead of the 13 month average of 51.8%.
Note: Prosper fielded this month’s survey from October 3-10, 2017, completely after the Las Vegas shooting. While consumer confidence doesn’t seem to have been negatively affected by this terrible event, consumers’ concerns for their safety in public places rose more than 30% month over month.
With the holiday shopping season on the horizon, consumers seem to be adjusting their spending sentiment accordingly. This month, 36.6% indicate that they’ve become more practical with their purchases, dropping about a point from September and more than two points from October 2016.
While consumers’ focus on just the necessities ticked slightly upward month over month, this indicator has declined nearly three points year over year. In October, two in five indicate that they are zeroing in on just the necessities when shopping, relatively in line with the 13 month average of 42%.
So, while consumers are sending some mixed signals versus September, consumers overall are feeling less pragmatic compared to a year ago – a good sign for retailers as the holiday season approaches.
What might be another good sign for retailers headed into the winter holiday season is consumers’ spending intentions for the holiday next up on the horizon – Halloween. This year, 72% of consumers plan to celebrate, the highest number recorded since 2012. Among that group, nearly half plans to dress in costume, a record high. So it appears that consumers are in the mood to escape the everyday this year.
And, all that escaping comes with a price tag. The average household plans to spend $86 this year for Halloween, another record high. The largest proportion of budgets will be spent on costumes, followed by candy and decorations, with greeting cards making up a relatively minor share. For more insights on costumes, where people plan to shop, and other interesting trends, visit the National Retail Federation’s Halloween Headquarters at www.NRF.com/Halloween.