[This session was presented live at the Quirk's Event Global in October 2022.]

What’s really going on in the U.S. economy in 2022? Amidst all the mixed signals, how are U.S. adult consumers navigating the current economy? What actions are they taking to mitigate the rising costs of everything? Are we at the point of spending cutbacks like we saw during the Great Recession or are new patterns emerging? And what does this mean for the upcoming winter holidays?

“We’re living in really chaotic times, there’s a lot of uncertainty, and being able to see clearly is why I am here today – to provide some of that clarity,” says presenter Rob Volpe, chief catalyst/CEO, Ignite 360, in this session originally presented live at the Quirk’s Event Global in October 2022. 

Overall, the session works to answer the following questions: 

  • Who is feeling the effects of inflation?
  • How are people coping?
  • What are they planning for the holidays?

Consumers feel the impact of inflation 

Throughout the presentation, Volpe shares charts broken down by differentiators such as high- and low-income households, age, children in the home, etc., as well as respondent videos, which really show how different consumer groups are feeling the pressure and impact of inflation. 

For example, during one video clip, respondent Jenn, 43, rural South Carolina, says, “My Walmart bill is starting to look like my Costco bill, but my Costco [bill is] starting to look like my mortgage.” 

The session also looks at what consumers are changing or looking to change in terms of purchasing habits. 

"When it comes to digital things ... Netflix, Amazon ... that's one of the things people are looking at [reducing]," says Volpe. "And this number just really surprised me – 28% are going to reduce medical treatments and 28% are going to reduce prescriptions." 

Volpe also shares what this information means for the holiday season, as well as some details on data the study will continue to track in the months to come.  

Data included in the session come from Ignite 360’s proprietary longitudinal study Navigating to a New Normal that has been tracking changes in behaviors and values among U.S. adult consumers since April 2020. The latest wave of qual and quant data focused on consumer response to inflation and gas prices. The presentation looks specifically at September 2022 compared to January 2022 and May 2021, where relevant.