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Survey July 8, 2024

Mid-year update: The State of the American Shopper

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Inflation is taking a toll, but consumers continue to show resiliency

As 2024 marches on, inflation continues to take a bite out of consumers’ wallets and remains their top economic concern. In terms of spending, there is an uptick in those who say they are spending the “same” compared to last year, increasing to 36% from 33% at the launch of the report in October. While many top cost-cutting behaviors peaked in October, we still see 33% of consumers saying they are reducing the number of store trips and 31% are comparison shopping more frequently.

Economic outlook
While negative sentiment about the economyimage remains, consumers are less worried about their personal financial situation (35%, down from 41% in October) and employment situation (20%, down from 23% in October).

Spending trends
The majority (54%) of consumers say they are taking steps to cut back their spending – though not all are succeeding. One in three say they are actually spending more compared to last year.image Younger consumers are leading the way: 46% of millennials and 41% of Gen Z say they are spending more compared to last year, compared to 28% of Gen X and 21% of baby boomers. 

Cost-cutting behaviors
Inflation led to peak cost-cutting behaviors in 2023, which may become permanent habits. Two out of five consumers (40%) are cutting back on nonessentials to save money.

Omnichannel shopping
There's an uptick in consumers who say they areimage shopping an even mix of digital and offline channels, indicating the importance of omnichannel presence for brands.

Financing tools
Consumers continue to use multiple financing tools for everyday purchases. For everyday purchases under $500,
48% of consumers would use bank branded credit cards, 31% would use a retail store or cobrand card and 21% would use buy now, pay later.

Key takeaway: Brands must prove their value
Inflation will continue to be a major factor for consumers as we head into back-to-school and the holiday shopping seasons. Brands need to offer compelling products at the right price, engage across channels with effortless experiences and provide a variety of payment and financing options to meet customer needs and expectations to win the sale.

Source: Mid Year Update, The State of the American Shopper, Bread Financial, July 2024.

About Bread Financial™

Bread Financial™ (NYSE: BFH) is a tech-forward financial services company providing simple, personalized payment, lending and saving solutions. The company creates opportunities for its customers and partners through digitally enabled choices that offer ease, empowerment, financial flexibility and exceptional customer experiences. Driven by a digital-first approach, data insights and white-label technology, Bread Financial delivers growth for its partners through a comprehensive suite of payment solutions that includes private label and co-brand credit cards and Bread Pay™ buy now, pay later products. Bread Financial also offers direct-to-consumer products that give customers more access, choice and freedom through its branded Bread Cashback American Express® Credit Card and Bread Savings™ products.

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Bread Financial is powered by its approximately 7,000+ global associates and is committed to sustainable business practices. To learn more about Bread Financial, visit or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter/X and Instagram.