A new survey by the Consumer Confidence Board indicates respondents plan to reduce their spending over the next six months.
Among areas where respondents could indicate they are planning spending cuts, US gambling activities got that response more frequently than any other category. Consumers also plan to spend less on highly discretionary categories, like:
- Visiting amusement parks
- Going to the movies
- Personal travel
- Restaurants, bars and take-out
A technology company, The Conference Board by Toluna, conducted the survey. The cut-off date for the preliminary results was March 20.
36.6% of respondents expect to spend less on gambling
The survey also revealed that:
- 36.6% of respondents expect to spend less on gambling and lotteries. That is the biggest mark in the 15 categories featured in the query.
- 53.3% of consumers would maintain current levels of betting spending in the next six months.
- 10.1% will increase such expenses. That’s the smallest increase across all the listed categories.
At least, that’s what people say, but to what extent (if any) that will impact gaming remains to be seen.
Consumer confidence slightly improves in March
According to the survey, consumers’ assessment of current business conditions slightly increased in March:
- 18.4% of consumers indicated business conditions were good, slightly higher than February’s 18.0%
- 19.3% of responders say current business conditions are bad, an increase from 17.4%
Consumers’ assessment of the labor market, however, was less favorable:
- 49.1% said jobs were plentiful, down from 51.2%
- 10.3% said jobs were hard to get, about the same as last month
Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director, Economics at The Conference Board, said:
“Driven by an uptick in expectations, consumer confidence improved somewhat in March but remains below the average level seen in 2022 (104.5). The gain reflects an improved outlook for consumers under 55 years of age and for households earning $50,000 and over.”
Consumers will reprioritize their spending
Ozyildirim also added that consumers feel more confident about what’s ahead. Consumers became slightly less pessimistic about the short-term business conditions:
- 15.5% of consumers expect business conditions to improve, up from 14.6%
- 18.5% expect business conditions to worsen, down from 21.6%
Consumers’ assessment of the short-term labor market outlook was slightly more optimistic:
- 15.0% expect more jobs to be available, up from 14.5%
- 19.9% anticipate fewer jobs, down from 21.2%
Consumers’ short-term income prospects were less positive:
- 14.9% of consumers expect their incomes to increase, up from February’s 14.4%
- 13.6% expect their payments will decrease, up from 11.6%
Ozyildirim further explained: “The latest results also reveal that their expectations of inflation over the next 12 months remain elevated—at 6.3 percent. Overall purchasing plans for appliances continued to soften while automobile purchases saw a slight increase.”