Consumers hesitant about meat purchasing

They alternately report higher willingness to pay for meats, and expectations for higher prices and lowered consumption.

Consumers showed tremendous uncertainty, almost a collective split personality, in the latest monthly national consumer survey from Oklahoma State University (FooDS).

On the one hand, their willingness to pay for a variety of food items that includes ground beef and steak went up 7% December to January. In the case of ground beef and steak, they were willing to pay more in January 2017 than the previous January 2016. They also increased eating expenditures away from home by 4.66% and decreased expenditures eating at home. These two things suggest an increase in consumer confidence, which was also noted to have risen in the recent Michigan consumer confidence survey -- a combination of three indexes which rated consumer confidence this January at increases of 5.7% to 7.5% higher than the rating one year earlier.

To read Newport's complete column, click here.

TAGS: Business
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