TransUnion's Wave 14 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:
After incremental improvements over the last few months, several key hardship indicators have reversed. Now, 54% of consumers state that they are impacted financially by COVID-19 (+3 pp), and their concern about being able to pay bills and loans (+7 pp to 77%) has returned to its highest level. Younger generations and Hispanic consumers, segments that have reported high levels of impact throughout our study, are driving these reversals.
Faced with continued uncertainty, Americans state that they are actively taking steps to manage and shore up their finances. There is an uptick in consumers stating they plan to take out new credit products, and more consumers are saving additional money in emergency funds and using more of their available credit to meet their financial needs. This attention to liquidity is fueling an increase in consumers monitoring their credit at least monthly. Impacted consumers who are concerned about paying bills are reaching out to companies to discuss payment options at an all-time high (64%).
Looking forward three months, half of all consumers indicate they plan to decrease discretionary spending, and 37% plan to spend less on retail purchases. Younger generations, Gen Z and Millennials, make up a disproportionate part of the restaurant and food services (70%) and retail (61%) workforce, so hardship among these consumer segments is thus expected to continue.