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Consumer Products Corner – Consumer Pulse: Will the rising debt-to-income ratio rattle consumer demand?

Consumer sentiment may have hit a low point in Q4 2022 and is now beginning to trend up, though still down 16% YOY, as the average consumer remains healthy by historical standards. However, with the debt-to-income ratio increasing, further downward pressure could be applied to consumer demand. Should future retail trade quarters continue decelerating YOY, as The Fed's measures to choke inflation take effect, profitability measures for companies will need to shift focus to the cost side as price increases become a less impactful lever.

Retail trade figures continue to decelerate, at YOY growth levels last seen during the pandemic’s exit

Consumer sentiment is trending up, buoyed by lower gas prices in addition to falling inflation. The previous quarter’s low may be retested if the economy tips into a recession

Debt levels continue to rise, while income levels off, potentially contracting consumer demand in upcoming quarters

On a monthly basis, AlixPartners charts sales, sentiment and supply chains in consumer-facing businesses. Learn more about the Consumer Products Corner newsletter and read previous articles, here.


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