Column: Global consumers balk at surging prices for durable goods – Reuters


(Chartbook: https://tmsnrt.rs/3vN0r5N)In the most current survey, conducted in March, 57% of participants said it was a “bad time” to purchase a major durable item, compared with just 37% who stated it was a “excellent time”. For 6 months, the percentage stating it is a bad time to buy has been at the highest since 1980, and the balance in between great time and bad time actions has actually also been at the most negative for four decades.Some 42% of participants stated it was a bad time because of high prices, while 7% pointed out unpredictability about the future, 4% said they could not afford it, and only 1% mentioned interest rates.In a different set of questions, the latest study found 72% of participants believed it would be a bad time to purchase an automobile in the next 12 months, compared with only 24% who thought it would be an excellent time.Both the portion of participants saying it was a bad time to purchase and the negative balance were the worst in records going back to 1978 (“Survey of customers”, University of Michigan, 2022). Some 57% blamed high rates, compared with 5% who cited interest rates, 5% who cited future uncertainty and 4% who said they could not pay for to buy.In current years, spikes in the bad-time-to-buy measures have corresponded with end-of-cycle economic downturns or at least mid-cycle downturns (“Consumer expectations: micro foundations and macro effect”, Curtin, 2019).


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