Concern about Ukraine is high and spilling over from security to the economy

In less than five minutes of reading time we’ll give you all the data and context you need to get you up to speed on Ipsos’ latest wave of the Coronavirus Consumer Tracker.

The author(s)
  • Matt Carmichael What the Future editor and head of the Ipsos Trends and Foresight Lab
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Here’s what we know today from the Ipsos Coronavirus Consumer Tracker:

  • About half of parents say their kids are required to wear masks in school. Expect that to drop significantly next time we ask as mandates evaporate coast to coast.
  • Six in ten frequent pre-pandemic business travelers expect to attend fewer trade shows and conferences for business in the future than they did in the before times.
  • Overall cost of living, crime rate and affordable housing continue to be the top factors people consider in choosing a place to live.

Read on for data about: Ukraine, summer plans, business travel and relocation.

The invasion of Ukraine has us worried about everything

Why we asked: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shocked the world and shocked the economy. 

What we found: Nearly nine in ten (87%) are concerned about global stability. More than eight in ten Americans are concerned about each of the following: the safety and security of the U.S., the idea that the war will develop into a broader conflict, economic growth, and the prices of things we buy in the U.S. These figures are pretty consistent among demographics including party ID.

Americans are concerned (but to a lesser degree) with the conflict’s impacts closer to home on things like personal safety (58%) and travel in the U.S. (49%). Americans seem to be compartmentalizing their views on COVID and Ukraine separately.

ukraine concerns

Relocation

Why we asked: We saw a few signals in the news recently about relocation trends, including an NPR piece about people moving to different states for political reasons, especially related to differing COVID restrictions.

What we found: In general, our relocation numbers haven’t changed much. While about half of 18- to 34-year-olds have at least considered moving, only 25% say they actually moved, and 13% of adults overall. That’s steady since we last asked in June 2021. This (and rent data) seems to indicate that all of the early “death of the city” stories coming out of New York-based media were maybe jumping to conclusions. Even the “where have you considered moving” question is pretty flat. But “closer to family” has edged up to 22% as a destination. And in a separate question, we asked about what factors people consider make a great place to live – and local politics were the least important. We consider this NPR myth busted. More on that in What the Future: Identity later this month.

no mass migration in the US

Summer plans

Why we asked: Around this time last year, we started asking about summer vacation plans. The vaccine was in the world. Summer looked to be a magic time of freedom and the word “delta” wasn’t on anyone’s mind. Demand was pent-up.

What we found: If anything demand, is even more pent-up. Two-thirds of Americans say they are likely to: take a vacation where they can “unplug;” take an overnight road trip of less than 100 miles; and of more than 100. Half plan a domestic plane trip and three in ten want to travel internationally. Woo hoo! Let’s party, America. <BA.2, we are glaring in your direction as we type this.>

pent-up travel demand

Biz travel

Why we asked: Speaking of travel, what about business travel? Is that as pent-up? (Editor’s note: I’m typing this on my first business flight in nearly two years.)

What we found: Business travel is still a ways off for many who traveled at least several times a year for work pre-pandemic.  About one in three say they are comfortable already (unchanged since we last asked in September 2021.) One in ten say they’ll be ready within three months. But most (56%) say it’ll be at least four months before they’re ready to get on the road again – that’s ticked up slightly.

Biz travel part II

Why we asked: So, will our frequent business fliers be as frequent on the other side of this? There are a lot of industries related to travel, entertainment and events that are hoping the answer is a resounding YES. On the other side, there are probably more than few reluctant road warriors who have found that being more grounded is, well, grounding.

What we found: For the first group, there’s some reason for some concern. It’s not “the world massively changed” kind of data, but definitely not “the world will be as it was” data either. The “I will travel less often” majority ticked up a hair since we last asked in September, 2021. More say they will have fewer face-to-face meetings and most think their companies will reduce their travel budgets. The biggest change was in the number who say they will attend fewer conferences and trade shows. That jumped 12 percentage points to 60%. Should we dig into why in a future wave? Let us know.

pent-up business travel

Signals

Here’s what we’re reading this week that has us thinking about the future.

  • The Atlanta Braves are in the metaverse: They become the first baseball club to create a “digital twin” stadium to host events in the metaverse. At the rate contract negotiations are going, they might need a digital team, too, to play a virtual season. (via MLB.com)
  • Reese Witherspoon partners with NFT studio: Under her Hello Sunshine brand, the actress will work with World of Women to take its NFT characters and develop TV and movie projects  (via Variety)
  • Fusion Power had a big week, partially with Deepmind: Using AI to help control the reactors, one team had a very successful fusion experiment in terms of stability and other researchers had the most energy output ever from a fusion reactor. This could mean good things for sustainable energy. (via Science Alert)
  • A dark side of implants: What happens when the tech implanted in your head breaks and the company that made it goes bankrupt? We’re about to find out. (via IEEE)

For complete toplines for all waves, please see the full data and methodology.

The author(s)
  • Matt Carmichael What the Future editor and head of the Ipsos Trends and Foresight Lab

Society