A consumer survey conducted Oct. 10-13 by ORC International on behalf of ICSC and Goldman Sachs found that 40% of consumers have tightened their belts in the face of the federal government shutdown.
Of the demographically representative sample, lower-income households were more affected than their upper-income counterparts: Those with income of $35,000 or less were 15% more likely to curb spending than those making at least six figures.
Of the 40%, the majority (70%) said they were only scaling back "a little," with 13% making "considerable" reductions in spending.
"As Congressional leaders optimistically predict a budget deal may soon be reached, it is clear that the fallout of the past two-week impasse in Congress has affected consumers’ willingness and maybe their ability to spend," said Michael Niemira, VP research for ICSC. "Hopefully, if the end of the government shutdown truly is in sight, this is likely to restore consumer confidence quickly and well ahead of the holiday season."
A recent Gallup survey also found that consumer confidence had dipped to 2008 levels during the shutdown.