Survey: Middle-income Americans spending less amid recession concerns

Survey: Middle-income Americans spending less amid recession concerns

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July 14, 2022 12:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

DULUTH, Ga.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Primerica, Inc. (NYSE: PRI), a leading provider of financial services in the United States and Canada, released the Middle-Income Financial Security Monitor for the second quarter of 2022 — a national survey that measures changes in the sentiments of middle-income families in the U.S. about their finances.

The survey found middle-income households taking proactive steps to secure their finances as they brace for a possible recession. About three-quarters (77%) believe the country will be in that situation by the end of the year, and most Americans are preparing by cutting back on spending, delaying major purchases, or planning to work longer before retirement.

“Middle-income families are taking a hard look at their finances right now. Rising costs continue to eat into their bottom line amid fresh concerns of a recession,” said Glenn J. Williams, CEO of Primerica. “For 45 years, we’ve helped working families prepare to weather these types of situations. We’ve reassured them that professional financial guidance is not only for the affluent. It is critical to their long-term planning and can support their efforts to endure a potential economic downturn.”

Key Findings from Primerica’s U.S. Middle-Income Financial Security Monitor


•    Inflation drives top concerns. The economy continues to be a major stressor for middle-income Americans, with 41% rating inflation as their top concern. Paying for food and groceries also ranks high (26%, up four percentage points since March) as does their current financial situation (25%, up eight percentage points since March).


•    Most plan to cut back on spending. Nearly three-quarters (71%) report cutting back on restaurant/takeout meals, up from 57% in March. Nearly the same amount (69%) say they plan to keep their current technology instead of upgrading, up from 44% in March. And about half (49%) are planning to budget or cut back on groceries, up from 37% in March.


•    Reassessing major purchases. Overall, more than one-third (38%) have already delayed a major purchase due to rising interest rates, including the biggest hike by the Fed in nearly 30 years. Still, about the same percentage (39%) say they plan to take a vacation in the next 12 months.


•    Many rethinking future financial plans. Forty-two percent say they plan to work longer before retirement, and three-quarters (75%) of employed middle-income Americans say they don’t think they have enough saved to retire comfortably, up 10 percentage points since March. In addition, one in five plan to find a higher paying job (22%).

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