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Consumer Pulse Q1 2021

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TransUnion's Q1 2021 US Consumer Pulse Study Released

We’ve just released the latest TransUnion US Consumer Pulse Study — a quarterly survey exploring how consumers’ personal finances have changed and what changes they expect in the future. Here are the key takeaways:  

  • A brighter path forward: 38% of US consumers said their household income remains negatively impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic; 28% fewer than our first report in March 2020. While 5% of the population has thrived during the pandemic — reporting no income drop and better than planned finances — another 3% are devastated by reduced income and don’t think they’ll ever recover. For those whose income has been reduced, 8% are resilient saying their finances have fully recovered, and another 27% are hopeful saying their finances will recover. Thirty-five percent of all consumers report their financial situation is stable. 
  • Concern for those on the margin: 22% of individuals are in limbo because they’re unsure or slightly doubtful their finances will recover. Only 7% started a new job or revenue generating activity compared to 16% of hopeful and 24% of resilient individuals. Half (51%) of those in limbo are low income (<$50,000) and 59% are women. Individuals in limbo are less likely to seek relief from bills. Only 22% said they have a financial accommodation compared to 53% for resilient and 38% for hopeful consumers. They’re also the least prepared for the end of accommodation. While 60% of resilient and 33% of hopeful said they’re fully prepared, only 8% of in limbo claim that. In fact, 31% said they’re not at all prepared. 
  • Vaccinations signal hope for recovery: Early signs indicate the COVID-19 vaccine is having a positive impact on consumer outlook. Of those who said they’d been fully vaccinated, 77% stated they’re optimistic about the future compared to just 59% of those who had not been vaccinated.