How inflation and sentiment are reshaping US buying habits

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E-commerce spend is still above the pre-Covid 19 trend, but the growth rate has moderated from what we saw during the depths of the pandemic when stores were closed and consumers were forced to buy online. There is probably some gain that e-commerce will keep – consumer habits are historically very fickle, but once consumers try something and like it they tend to stick to it.

That said, if you go on Twitter or watch the news, you’ll see the trending topic is recession. A lot of times, even if we aren’t technically in a recession, the psychological burden of thinking there are bad days ahead will beget a slowdown in spending. If consumers are scared about increases in their cost of living, they will cut back in other areas of their lives.

Kyle McDonough, research analyst, Newton Investment Management.

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