More than half of all consumers across the country are going into debt, borrowing money, or using their savings to cover their expenses right now as a result of higher prices for everything from gas to groceries, according to the results of a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation. The data is yet another sign of just how much consumers are suffering when trying to make ends meet.
The situation is even worse for consumers making less than $25,000 a year. Nearly three-quarters of those individuals are going into debt, borrowing money, or dipping into their savings to make ends meet.
Nearly half of consumers are switching from their regular purchases to cheaper alternatives, and just as many are looking for coupons or sales more often than they have been. Forty percent of consumers are cutting back in other areas so they can afford these purchases. One of those “other areas” is likely debt payments that consumers feel are less important to make right now.
About 50% of consumers cite government policies and spending, supply chain disruptions, the war in Ukraine, and COVID-19 as the reasons why we are seeing inflation right now, according to the survey. More than three-quarters of consumers say the price of everyday necessities have increased during the past six months, while 64% say discretionary purchases are costing more. Two-thirds of consumers are worried about higher prices on everyday items.
While the NRF used the data from the survey as a means of advancing its argument that tariffs on goods from China should be removed, the data is also eye-opening for those in the accounts receivable management industry.