Consumers to cutback on jewelry spending

A recent survey of consumer spending reports that 44% of consumers will be cutting back on jewelry purchases during the next three months.

The survey, conducted by NPD Group, Inc., also reports that 76% of consumers are “being careful” about spending on discretionary products and services, with 29% claiming to “being very careful” about their spending, during the months of March, April, May. In addition, the survey states, forty-one percent of consumers plan to spend less than usual this March, April, and May. Only 14% are planning to spend more than usual, while 45% plan to spend about the same as usual.

NPD comments that at the time the survey was conducted, (March 4 – 11), soaring gasoline prices were more of a factor in suppressing discretionary spending than terrorism or threat of war.

The report states that many consumers appear to be curbing spending on high-ticket items. Inn addition to jewelry, a significant percentage of consumers plan to spend “much less than usual” on: major appliances (49%), consumer electronics (44%), furniture (42%), and computers/software (37%). More moderately priced categories, where consumers said they would spend much less were: cookware (43%), small appliances (40%), perfumes/fragrances (38%), video games (38%), toys (36%) and music (35%).

Less likely to change is consumer spending on fast food, where only 21% of those surveyed said they intend to spend “much less than usual” on this product in the next three months. Other products that will be more resistant to spending cuts are: clothing/apparel (22%), skincare/makeup and cosmetics (23%), eating at full service restaurants (24%), shoes/athletic footwear (28%) and entertainment (28%).

In addition, consumers said threat of war (24%), current company situation (22%), and current stock market trends (21%) are less of a factor affecting spending plans. The threat of terrorism (13%) and international government relations (12%) are the least influential factors affecting short term spending plans.