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National Restaurant Association - Is the presidential campaign impacting spending?

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Is the presidential campaign impacting spending?

A new survey suggests that the U.S. presidential campaign may be weighing on consumer spending, according to the NRA’s Chief Economist Bruce Grindy.  His Economist’s Notebook commentary and analysis appears regularly on Restaurant.org and Restaurant TrendMapper.

As the political vitriol rises in intensity, the question is if this has any tangible impact other than causing people to change the channel.  Results of a new survey suggest that it might.

Thirty-one percent of adults say they have become less confident in their personal spending as a result of the U.S. presidential campaign during the last few months, according to a new survey conducted by ORC International for the National Restaurant Association. 

Fourteen percent of adults say they are more confident in their spending, while 55 percent say the presidential campaign hasn’t impacted their confidence. 

Women are more likely than men to say the presidential campaign has dampened their spending confidence.  The net negative differential (‘less confident’ minus ‘more confident’) for women is 22 percent, versus 12 percent for men.

While the net negative differential is present across all age groups, it is by far the strongest among older adults.  In fact, 36 percent of consumers age 65 or older say they are less confident about their personal spending, while only 5 percent are more confident.  This 31 percent net negative differential is well above that of 18-to-34-year-olds, where ‘less confident’ exceeded ‘more confident’ by only 8 percentage points. 

Sentiment is also negative across all regions on the country, with consumers in the West region having the lowest net negative differential (12 percent).  

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