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44% say inflation has not impacted spending habits: YF Poll

With inflation on the rise, have you cut back on certain kinds of spending?Yahoo Finance’s Akiko Fujita and Zack Guzman share the poll details.

Video Transcript


ZACK GUZMAN: Welcome back. In today's Hot Takes, our social poll, as we asked everybody out there about their own impacts, the impacts they're feeling when it comes to inflation, of course, as we got the reading this morning, prices continuing to rise. This time, the year over year gain expanding to 4.4%.

As we always highlight on the show, it's the fastest pace since 1991, so a long ways to go. But we wanted to ask you guys how it's impacting the spending. And this was the question-- with inflation on the rise, have you cut back on certain kinds of spending? 24% said dining out, 20% said travel, just 11% said events and experiences, and the overwhelming majority, 44.2%, Akiko, saying they have not cut back yet.

AKIKO FUJITA: "Yet" I think is a key word here. And I wonder if we can tie this conversation back to what we've heard from companies, Zack, because the inflation pressures, the cost pressures have been building up. But what we've heard from companies, at least in this most recent earnings period, is that things really kicked into high gear in Q3. They're likely to see it get worse in Q4. And so from a consumer perspective, you know, these are conversations we've been having on the show about what that threshold is. You know, at what point do they say, I need to start pulling back?

And I wonder if those price pressures have gotten big enough for people to do that yet. Certainly, people are going to feel it a lot during the holiday season. You know, I've seen it in the grocery store. I've seen those prices go up. But dining out, I mean, events, experiences, Zack, I wonder how many people have actually resumed events and experiences during the pandemic. So I mean, dining seems like the first spot to cut back. I mean, DoorDash, does that count as dining experiences, too? I mean, if people are doing takeout, maybe they cut back on that. It's going to be interesting to see, I wonder, especially during the holiday season, how this is going to affect some of those retailers. Because I think that's when people are really going to start to feel the pinch.

ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah, we're splitting hairs when we get into is DoorDash dining out, but yes, no, the thing around what Emily highlighted earlier in the show, still a very high and elevated savings rate. Consumers still sitting on some cash to spend here, at least when you look at kind of the latest quarter in terms of seasonally adjusted rate of 1.6% for the quarter. That saw a boost of 7.9%-- dare I say almost 8%, Akiko? The increase in spending on services like restaurants or movie tickets.

And movie tickets, I suppose we would include here in entertainment and the like, which it's hard to really cut back on going to the movies, if you haven't been going to the movies at all. So that is kind of one of the pieces of the puzzle in this poll. But I guess, you know, when we're talking about inflation, it's still the question of where you're seeing the highest price increases. And as we've talked about, you know, prices at the pump still obviously top of mind for a lot of people. And travel, as that one comes back on, got hit hard in the quarter. I booked a holiday flight for $89 coast to coast, so I feel pretty good about that.

AKIKO FUJITA: Surprisingly cheap, right? Holiday travel right now. I was actually surprised. I was looking up tickets for Thanksgiving. And I thought it would be much higher than what I found. One option I'm thinking maybe we could have added because you just think that people aren't necessarily going to give up their groceries. They're still going to drive as necessary every day. But I wonder if things like streaming services could get hit. You know, that's sort of an added expense. Do they-- if you feel like month to month, you've got a little more in terms of utility costs and other things, some of these other areas, entertainment side, I think could maybe start to take a hit.

ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah, my Disney Plus just expired the other day. I haven't signed up yet. So we'll see how that all goes. I mean, according to this poll, not a lot of people cutting back on entertainment events and experiences yet. But shout out to Pablo Christensen-- or Christian, rather. He said, where is all the above? So that man is cutting back on a lot-- responsible spending in the pandemic.