US Consumer Pandemic Recovery Outlook June 2021: Financial and Health Fears Linger
Sixteen months after COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, and more than a decade after the US recorded the highest number of COVID-19 deaths and cases globally, consumers are dealing with conflicting emotions. Consumers are eager to relive the childhood experiences they missed, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention easing restrictions. Consumers are still being repelled by the COVID-19 variants threat and the residual fear from a year of deprivation and depression. We examine the latest data from Forrester’s June 2021 Consumer Energy Index and Retail Pulse Survey with our pulse of data From Forrester’s Consumer Energy Index Survey. US Consumers, May 2020 to see how consumers’ pandemic recovery outlook has changed. Consumers are more optimistic than they were last year.
- They are more convinced that COVID-19 will have a negative effect on them over the long-term.Consumers have been slowly reducing the COVID-19 pandemic since early 2020 when there were initial reports of an increase in COVID-19 cases.Getting to termsWhat the crisis means to them. Late May 2020, 63% US online adults realized that the COVID-19 Pandemic would have a lasting negative impact on their quality-of-life. As of June 2021, 72% agreed. Consumers who believed they were protected from the shocks of pandemics dropped from 27% to 9% in May 2020, to 9% in June 2021.
- They are just as uncertain about their financial future.In May 2020, 47% US consumers believed they were financially ready to deal with the economic consequences of the pandemic. By June 2021, only 41% said the same. SlowlyFalling unemploymentRates are still below pre-pandemic levels and consumers are being hypersensitive to financial risks from another wave of crises. One ConsumerVoices Market Research Online Community member said, “I’m trying better about saving.” Although we didn’t need to dig too deep yet, I am trying to learn more about how to save and invest so that we don’t take any losses in volatile times.
- Although less concerned about the spread of coronavirus, they are still cautious.Consumers have been resisted from engaging in their favorite experiences because of fears about their physical health. These perceived risks are starting to disappear. In May 2020, 60% US adults online reported being afraid of getting COVID-19. As of June 2021 however, only 45% of those respondents agreed with this sentiment. Although the fear of getting sick is decreasing, consumers’ psyches are still fragile. There is news about coronavirus variants and uncertainty about the consequences of reopening.CompelSome consumers must adhere to safety protocols. As of June 2021 58% of US consumers reported wearing a mask when they go out in public. 55% report engaging in social distancing.
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