Consumers Are Worried About Recession, Other Issues: Study

American consumers are in a state of perpetual anxiety — about the economy, the pandemic and other issues, judging by State of the Consumer 2023, a study by data firm Resonate. 

For instance, 64% worry about the possibility of a recession, and are twice as pessimistic about the economy as they were during the pandemic. And, overall, 72% say external factors like inflation, social movements and climate change have affected their lives more than in past years. 

Email teams might deploy these findings to move beyond simple demographics. 

The study ranks consumers according to their qualities and behavior. The three categories include:

  • The Free-To-Be Consumer — They’re unaffected by all the stresses. They like to buy luxury items, and are 52% less concerned about the environment than the Anxiously Active consumer. 
  • The Anxiously Active Consumer — These individuals are worried about the state of the world. And they are holding corporations accountable. They are 45% more likely to buy a product from a brand that aligns with an issue they care about. 
  • The Cautiously Optimistic Consumer — These shoppers are “tepid” about most things, and handling things the best they can, the study says. They prefer familiar and good-looking products that boost their self-esteem.  



Resonate tracks consumer reactions to breaking events on an ongoing basis via its AI data engine, gauging how recent and breaking events are impacting consumer sentiment, intent, preferences and behavior, it says. 


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