Covid affecting economic behavior / By: Giselle De Leon
People all throughout the country have learned to embrace internet shopping 2 years into to the pandemic, but they're also returning to physical businesses. They are once more leaving their homes, yet they are still doing home improvements. Additionally, today's consumers are extremely willing to give up their once-favorite brands in pursuit of better ones that provide value or novelty, which could be a blessing or a curse for manufacturers and merchants. Consumer spending hasn't been slowed down by inflation yet. Despite unprecedented inflation in the first quarter of 2022, US consumers kept their wallets open. The US experienced its greatest hyperinflation in a decade from May 2021 to March 2022, rising to about 8.5 percent by March 2022. However, US consumers increased their spending in March 2022 by 18% compared to the same month two years prior and by 12% beyond what was anticipated according to the pre-COVID-19 trend.( Matthias Pelster ). Both online and in-store purchases are increasing in price. At the beginning of a pandemic, when there wasn't much of an option, people started shopping online in large numbers. Arturo Simentall an associate project manager, suggest, “Due to the panic of many Americans people began to stock up, leaving companies to produce more, causing prices to rise because of such high demand.” However, it seems that a lot of individuals value the ease that e-commerce provides. Even after brick and mortar stores reopened, online channel spending increased. In March 2022, e-commerce growth was 27% year over year; the overall increase in e-commerce penetration from the start of COVID-19 through March 2022 was 33%. ( Regina Ortmann ). Although consumers claim to care about ESG, various people have varied definitions of what it implies. According to Dr. Purushottam Dixit at University of Florida, stat es,“Consumer demand was returned to pre-pandemic levels when the effective vaccine was released, driven by growing consumer confidence, unmet need, and accumulated savings.” Consumers, especially younger generations, claim that environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations have some influence on the brands they choose to purchase. Over than two-thirds of youth survey participants stated that they find at least one aspect of ESG to be of utmost importance. Their main concerns are that businesses are open and demonstrate that they care about the people (employees, customers, others in their communities).