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Economics

Inflation & Price Pressures Report: Cost-Conscious Consumers Find Pockets of Price Relief

June 2024

Report summary

Many parts of the economy are showing signs of cooling, but still-hot inflation remains a challenge as sticky components—like housing and other services—continue to exert upward pressure on the consumer basket. Morning Consult’s data suggests some degree of price relief may have surfaced in May for certain categories, but overall consumers remain highly price sensitive and determined to seek out cheaper options when possible.

Key Takeaways

  • U.S. adults reported less surprise over prices for most items in May compared with April, but sticky inflation for housing and other services continues to exert affordability challenges.
  • High-income adults, who have been the primary drivers of spending growth in recent months, showed slightly less willingness to splurge last month.
  • As inflation cools, more consumers are seeking out cheaper alternatives on everything from homes to groceries as the elevated cost of living continues to pinch budgets.

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Highlights from this report

Inflation for personal care goods and services has steadily cooled over the past 12 months. As price pressures ease, consumers have responded by increasingly trading down to cheaper alternatives within this category. Similar to recent dynamics in categories such as groceries, this trend is reflective of consumers’ continued price-consciousness and desire to save money without having to abstain from purchases altogether.

Cooling inflation for personal care facilitates more trading down

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics/Haver, Morning Consult

About the author

A headshot photograph of Kayla Bruun
Kayla Bruun
Senior Economist

Kayla Bruun is a senior economist at decision intelligence company Morning Consult, where she analyzes consumer spending, inflation and household finance trends, leveraging the company’s proprietary high-frequency data.

Prior to joining Morning Consult, Kayla was a key member of the corporate strategy team at telecommunications company SES, where she produced market intelligence and industry analysis of mobility markets. 

Kayla also served as an economist at IHS Markit, where she covered global services industries, provided price forecasts, produced written analyses and served as a subject-matter expert on client-facing consulting projects. 

Kayla earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Emory University and an MBA with a certificate in nonmarket strategy from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

Follow her on Twitter @KaylaBruun. For speaking opportunities and booking requests, please email [email protected]