U.S. Consumer Outlook Report: April 2021

Report summary

Unlike April and May 2020, the consumer recovery in 2021 remains broad based, with financial vulnerabilities among low-income adults falling to levels not seen since last May. The rapid expansion in Q1 will propel the U.S. economy through the end of the summer, but April’s data indicates that policy interventions have yet to produce self-sustaining economic growth.

Key Takeaways

  • The sugar-high from unprecedented federal fiscal support wore off in April: confidence is still increasing, but at a much slower rate than in March
  • Pay losses ticked up at the end of the month
  • Employment gains are still not strong enough to bring back workers who are on the sidelines

About the author

A headshot photograph of John Leer
John Leer
Chief Economist

John Leer leads Morning Consult’s global economic research, overseeing the company’s economic data collection, validation and analysis. He is an authority on the effects of consumer preferences, expectations and experiences on purchasing patterns, prices and employment.

John continues to advance scholarship in the field of economics, recently partnering with researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland to design a new approach to measuring consumers’ inflation expectations.

This novel approach, now known as the Indirect Consumer Inflation Expectations measure, leverages Morning Consult’s high-frequency survey data to capture unique insights into consumers’ expectations for future inflation.

Prior to Morning Consult, John worked for Promontory Financial Group, offering strategic solutions to financial services firms on matters including credit risk modeling and management, corporate governance, and compliance risk management.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and philosophy with honors from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in economics and management studies (MEMS) from Humboldt University in Berlin. 

His analysis has been cited in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, The Washington Post, The Economist and more.

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