Consumers worldwide report experiencing higher prices

In 30-country survey, two-thirds say they now pay more for transportation, food and drink, and utilities than they did six months ago.

A new Ipsos survey finds about two-thirds of consumers across 30 countries saying the prices they are now paying for transportation, food and drink, and utilities seem higher than they were six months ago. About half report a rise in the cost of clothing and shoes, housing, medical and health care, and entertainment. On average globally, as many consumers expect their household spending will increase in the next three months (42%) as expect it will stay the same (41%). Increased spending expectations are closely correlated with perceptions of paying higher prices.

These are some of the findings of a survey of 20,504 adults from 30 countries conducted on Ipsos’ Global Advisor online platform between November 19 and December 3, 2021.

Detailed Findings

On average, across the 30 countries surveyed, large proportions of consumers report the prices they have paid in recent weeks generally seem higher than they were six months ago:

  • 70% say so for transportation (gasoline, car payments and maintenance, parking, public transit, etc.),
  • 70% for food and drink (groceries, meals, restaurants),
  • 66% for utilities (electricity, gas, water, phone, internet, etc.),
  • 55% for clothing and shoes (19% and 36%, respectively),
  • 51% for housing (rent or mortgage payments, maintenance, etc.)
  • 51% for medical and health care, and
  • 49% for entertainment.

The 12 surveyed countries where prices are most widely perceived to have increased include all six in Latin America, all four in Central and Eastern Europe, Turkey, and South Africa. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Japan and China are where consumers are least likely to say the prices they paid recently for various categories are higher.

Consumers who report higher prices for the products and services they buy skew more affluent and older.

When asked how they expect their total household spending (aside from normal holiday spending) to change over the next three months, a global average of 42% say it will increase (a lot for 12%, a little for 30%) while 41% say it will not change and 17% that it will decrease.

At a global level, upper-income and younger consumers are slightly more likely than less affluent and older consumers to expect that their spending will increase in the next three months. However, expectations of increased spending vary less across demographic groups than they do across countries, ranging from more than 60% in Romania and Argentina to just 16% in Japan. They tend to be highest in countries where consumers most widely report price increases.

These are the results of a 30-country survey conducted by Ipsos on its Global Advisor online platform. Ipsos interviewed a total of 20,504 adults aged 18-74 in the United States, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa, and Turkey, 21-74 in Singapore, and 16-74 in 25 other countries, between November 19 and December 3, 2021.