Consumers are more optimistic in March regarding a timeline for the reopening of the economy than they were in December when we were just re-entering lockdown; 54% are somewhat, very, or extremely optimistic versus 42% in December. The successful rollout of vaccines is likely a key driver; in the same period, we’ve gone from zero to over 20 million doses delivered.
Despite the economic upheaval, household finances are relatively stable with 40% reporting finances are as planned, and 29% stating they’re better than planned.
Despite this, COVID-19 is likely to cast a long shadow with a significant portion of consumers self-censoring their credit demand. While 32% of households are planning to apply for new credit or refinance existing credit in the next 12 months, 28% have considered it but ultimately decided not to apply. Consumers who have opted out of the market tend to do so due to a lack of confidence in their chances of being approved; 27% cite concerns about their credit history and 23% cite concerns about their income or affordability.