Americans are buying expensive products in greater numbers and eating out more, according to various consumer surveys cited in a Bloomberg article. Speaking to the news service, Russell Price, a senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Inc. (AMP), attributed this increase in retail activity to “frugality fatigue” among consumers who have “grown tired of putting off discretionary purchases.”
Thirty-one percent of Americans reported that they spent more than planned at restaurants during the last 30 days and predicted that they would spend $37.01 on restaurant meals each week for the next three months on surveys conducted monthly by RBC Capital Markets (quoted in the Bloomberg article).
Unfortunately for newly confident consumers, the actual price of food is also up. The AP reports that the prices of food and gas were high in March, even though the inflation in these categories on the consumer index is tapering off after sharp increases last year.