Members Weigh In on the State of the Average Consumer


This week’s Sentiment Survey special question asked AAII members how they think the average consumer is faring relative to one year ago. Responses were mixed. Slightly less than a quarter of all respondents (24%) said the average consumer is doing better, primarily because of lower gasoline prices and an improved labor market. About 19% described the average consumer as faring somewhat/slightly better thanks to lower gasoline prices and improved labor market conditions. Roughly 21% said the average consumer is faring about the same, with the lack of wage growth as the most common reason. Nearly 18% of respondents said the average consumer is faring worse due to higher prices (excluding gasoline) and a lack of wage growth.

Here is a sampling of the responses:

  • “I think consumers are doing better due to more people being employed and the lower cost of gasoline.”
  • “Slightly better because of the improved job market and the reduction in gas prices.”
  • “Less well. Food prices, insurance costs, everything but gasoline is up; wages are flat or are up much less than costs are.”
  • “Not much better with stagnant wages and continued underemployment.”

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