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New survey reveals trends and attitudes behind consumer spending

So brace yourself for some more bad economic news. According to a recent consumer spending survey from Deloitte, consumers’ concern over inflation could spell disaster for the gains retailers have witnessed recently, reported WWD.

Released Wednesday, the report reveals that 74 percent of Americans feel elevated prices may cause them to limit their purchasing in the next few months. Another 53 percent believe that the price of spring goods is inflated. And this on the heels of the news that retail prices are expected climb for fall, as LadyLUX had reported recently.

Greater costs of raw materials and labor—together with increasing energy costs, higher medical costs and towering rates of unemployment—are driving inflation on apparel up a few points, and it is likely to hit 10 to 15 percent. Experts believe no company will be able to entirely dodge these bullets.

Other highlights of the survey include the 58 percent of consumers who plan to spend the same amount or more during 2011, a loss of 5 percentile points from the previous year. Less than half (43 percent) of consumers maintain that we are still experiencing a recession.

Another 27 percent believe that they are generally receiving more value for their buck, down a dramatic 18 points from last year, indicating good deals are becoming harder to find. Many (60 percent) shared that they are getting on the Web and seeking out the lowest price through online tools.

The good news—especially for high-end brands—is that households raking in more than $100,000 report their confidence in the economy is up since six months ago.

“By interacting more intimately with consumers through mobile, social media and other emerging platforms, and articulating a message of value and quality, retailers will do well with worried shoppers,” Alison Paul, vice chairman and U.S. retail sector leader, Deloitte LLP, said to WWD.

Commissioned by Deloitte, the survey was conducted online by an independent research company, which polled 1,050 consumers the beginning of March. The margin of error is estimated to be plus or minus three percentage points.

Tagged in: survey, spending, consumer spending, consumer, inflation, economy, deloitte, prices,

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Purple Neon/LadyLUX via istock

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