Consumer confidence slipped slightly in May but remains close to a peak for the past several years of slightly more than 50% positive posted in March, according to Prosper Insight & Analytics. In a survey conducted in early May, 48.6% of consumer said they were confident that downstream economic growth would be strong to very strong, the market research firm reported.
Despite the slip in consumer confidence ratings, a lesser proportion of consumers said they have become more practical in purchases, at 44.5%, or more inclined to buy due to need, at 37.5%, Prosper noted, the lowest figures for many quarters.
In terms of demographics, the firm related, most upper- and middle-income consumers feel secure in their financial situation but almost half of lower income consumers, 46%, feel insecure.
From Prosper’s April survey, more consumers said they plan to spend in May, with considerably more focus on discretionary purchasing. In a counterintuitive finding, lower income consumers are the ones who are most willing to spend, even in the discretionary category, with lower fuel prices driving purchasing, Prosper noted.