Inflation Nation: One Year Later

March, 2023

When we released our first report on inflation last year, inflation rates were climbing to their peak of 9.1%. As of January 2023, they’ve dropped to 6.4% — still 2.5x more than pre-Covid levels of 2.5% and it’s the highest inflation rate in 40 years. For our 2023 report, Inflation Nation: One Year Laterwe set out to understand: are people still on wallet lockdown? 

What we found:

  • Saving has stagnated, even among the financially secure. Pandemic windfalls have come to an end and people are spending the money they saved. 
  • Wallet lockdown has subsided for now but may return as savings run dry. While people are spending more on necessities, they’re easing lockdowns on simple pleasures like dining out and lifestyle expenditures.
  • The American Dream seems even further out of reach for The Vulnerable. Nearly seven in ten say they are very concerned about inflation, a 10% increase from 2022. Additionally, over half now say they are worse off than their parents. 
  • The rise of the un-fluencer. Part of why prices keep increasing is because people keep paying, sending a message to brands that they don’t need to slow down — but in response, un-fluencers are taking to social media to share what notto buy. 
  • The rich are the villains. The rich are no longer admired simply for being rich — instead, they’ve become targets in popular entertainment narratives. 

For brands:  

  • People accuse brands of “greedflation” and notice “shrinkflation.” People are increasingly pointing to corporate greed as the cause of inflation and it’s eroding trust. Price transparency is a must. 
  • Brands will need to continuously chase and earn loyalty. As shoppers become fickle in search of lower prices and better value, brands will have to work to court them. 
  • Doing good still woos shoppers. With charitable spending stagnating, people are willing to spend money on brands that help them do good (and feel good) via their purchases. 

Click ‘Download PDF’ below for the full report.

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