What You Need to Know
- Amid high inflation, 73% of participants believe the war will adversely affect the U.S. economy,
- Sixty-six percent worry about the effect on their day-to-day finances.
- Despite these concerns, only 14% reported taking immediate action to change their savings and investment strategy.
Americans are feeling the effects of the Russia-Ukraine war in their pocketbooks.
Seventy-three percent of participants in a recent survey said they believe the conflict in Ukraine will have a negative effect on the U.S. economy, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance reported Monday. Sixty-six percent worry about the effect on their day-to-day finances.
Nearly half of Americans in the survey said they think the geopolitical environment will affect their spending and lifestyle in the coming months.
The Ukraine crisis comes on top of personal finances Americans say are already strained by inflation. Eighty-eight percent of respondents reported that they have seen a rise in food prices, and 80% have had the same experience at the gas pump.
Nearly half said they have exceeded their budget for groceries since the start of the year. Forty percent have recently dipped into savings.
Over the past three months, 57% of women surveyed said they have saved less than $500, if anything, compared with 34% of men. Of respondents who saved less than $500 in January, almost half said living from paycheck to paycheck was the reason.
“The conflict in Ukraine and its impact on already high inflation is forcing U.S. consumers to reassess their finances and position themselves to weather potential future economic turbulence,” Michael Fanning, head of MassMutual US, said in a statement.
“Those who have been able to build good financial habits and shore up their finances during the pandemic will be best positioned during what could be a transitory period.”
PSB conducted an online survey from Feb. 18 to Feb. 22 among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, PSB conducted a follow-up survey from March 4 to March 7 among 500 U.S. adults to measure updated sentiment.
Although many survey participants anticipate a wider economic effect from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, only 14% reported that they have taken immediate action in changing their savings and investment strategy.
Of these, 17% of men and 10% of women have made changes to their finances. Men were significantly likelier than women to say the conflict has made them more likely to invest in cryptocurrencies.