Consumers Opt for Staples With Tax Rebate Checks
While consumers still plan to spend nearly 40 percent of their economic stimulus checks, pumping $42.2 billion back into the economy, what they’re planning to spend them on appears to be shifting from when the bill was signed into law in February.
According to the 2008 Tax Rebates Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey from the National Retail Federation, conducted by BIGresearch — which polled 8,347 consumers on how they plan to spend their economic stimulus checks — consumers expect to spend more of their checks on necessities like gas and food rather than on discretionary items such as electronics and apparel. Here are some more findings revealed in the survey.
* The largest increase in spending will be seen at the pump, where 17.2 million people plan to use some of the money to pay for gasoline, up from 12.1 million people in February;
* 21.2 million people plan to use a portion of the check for food, up from 20.4 million people in February;
* several product areas saw their shares of the market decline over the past three months, including furniture (2.7 million people planning to buy vs. 4.0 million earlier), automobiles (2.4 million vs. 3.2 million) and salons/spas (2.9 million vs. 3.5 million);
* paying down debt was the most common response from consumers on their plans for the money, receiving the lion share of the funds ($28.1 billion), followed by saving it ($20.1 billion), paying medical bills ($4.9 billion) and investing it ($3.4 billion);
* young adults (ages 18 to 24) will spend more of their checks (43.5 percent) than any other age group; and
* women are more likely to spend and/or save portions of their checks, while men are more likely to pay down debt.
For more information, go to www.bigresearch.com .