Consumers may see a brighter 2022 on the horizon

Consumers seem to be headed into 2022 with a positive outlook for the coming year.

Line graph showing present situation ranging from 155.0 in Jan-2018 to a high of 176.0 in January and August of 2019. See Figure 1 image  description.
Line graph showing present situation ranging from 155.0 in Jan-2018 to a high of 176.0 in January and August of 2019, then hitting a sharp decline to 68.4 in May-2020, followed by a gradual recovery to a new high of 159.6 in Jun-2021 and finishing 2021 at 144.1. Future expectations ranged from 104.0 in Jan-2018 to a high of 115.0 in Oct-2018, a low of 77.0 in Mar-2020, reaching a new high of 108.5 in Jun-2021 and finishing 2021 at 96.9.

Line chart showing the percentage of consumers who believe business conditions will be better ranging from Jan-2018 to Jan-2019. See Figure 2 image description.
Line chart showing the percentage of consumers who believe business conditions will be better ranging from 22% in Jan-2018 to a low of 16% in Jan-2019, a high of 43% in May-2020, and a gradual decline since then to finish 2021 at 27%. In comparison, those who believe the conditions will be worse ranged from 10% in Jan-2018 to a low of 7% in Oct-2018 and Feb-2020, a high of 26% in Apr-2020, and finishing 2021 at 18%. The difference between the two has expanded since October of 2021.

Column chart showing that 51% of consumers were “very or somewhat” comfortable with their debt levels. See Figure 3 image description.
Column chart showing that 51% of consumers were “very or somewhat” comfortable with their debt levels in October and November of 2021, dropping to 48% in December. The percentage of consumers who were “neutral” remained at 24% across all 3 time periods. The percentage of consumers “not very or not at all” comfortable was 25% in October and November, but jumped to 28% in December.

Column chart showing 31% of consumers say they are reluctant to travel by plane due to Covid concerns. See Figure 4 image description.
Column chart showing 31% of consumers say they are reluctant to travel by plane due to Covid concerns, while 26% believe flights are too expensive, 23% cite flight delays or cancellations, 21% cite fights or confrontations on planes, 12% cite limited flight options, and 9% cite “other” reasons.