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The Effects of Inflation, Rising Costs and Increasing Interest Rates Driving Regional Consumers to Re-Think Their Future Finances, WSFS Bank’s Annual Money Trends Study Finds


Desire to increase financial stability a key factor in cutting back on non-essentials and delaying life milestones to save more

WILMINGTON, Del., Oct. 13, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nine in 10 Americans (91%) are worried about affording a price increase over the next year, and their regional counterparts (93%) agreed, spurring changes in their plans for spending, saving and even delaying significant life milestones like buying a home or having children, a new WSFS Bank Money Trends study found.

The study, which surveyed 1,500 Greater Philadelphia and Delaware region consumers and 1,500 consumers nationally, measured current spending and saving trends and economic sentiment among adults ages 18-55.

Economic Confidence Remains Low  
Mirroring their sentiments from last year, four in 10 (41%) of regional residents feel the local economy is strong in 2022, expressing greater confidence than they have in the U.S. economy, which only 33% currently view as strong.

Their overall low confidence in the economy is motivating many to increase their savings, and more than half (54% regionally, 53% nationally) say they are doing so to ensure future financial stability due to their economic concerns.

“While the impacts of inflation and rising rates are certainly challenging to consumers’ budgets, it’s a good sign that many are recognizing the importance of saving to build toward future purchases and overall financial wellbeing,” said Shari Kruzinski, Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer for WSFS Bank. “It’s also encouraging to see that half of Gen Zers in the region are saving more than they did last year, with nearly half of them (47%) saving for a large purchase like a home or car. Saving more now to better position their future finances is a smart move.”

Changing Plans and Behaviors
Among those increasing their saving, just under half regionally (46%) and nationally (45%) are doing so by cutting back on non-essential purchases and four in 10 (43% regionally; 42% nationally) are proactively setting financial goals, indicating their future spending and borrowing plans for larger purchases may be renewed in the not-too-distant future.

However, inflationary prices have had an impact on prioritizing certain life milestones. Despite many still saving for the future, four in 10 both regionally and nationally are now less focused on buying a new house or car, and major life milestones like having children is also less of a priority, with 39% of 25-34 and 34% of 35-44-year-olds in the region citing current inflationary pressures for these decisions. Nationally, 37% of 25-34 and 34% of 35-44-year-olds cited de-prioritizing having children due to inflation.

A Brighter Holiday Season?
Among regional savers, 36% said they are saving for the upcoming holiday season, compared to 28% nationally, and more than half are interested in supporting local businesses whenever they shop. Regionally, 43% plan to buy gifts from local businesses this year, up from 28% in 2021, another positive for local businesses this holiday season.

However, local businesses will be pressed to compete for consumers’ holiday budgets, as 46% of regional spenders plan to eat and drink out less compared to 2021 (38%) and 41% plan to spend less overall on gifts, up from 34% last year. Meanwhile, local businesses may have more opportunities to entice local customers with offers this holiday season, as regional consumers are also planning to spend less on travel (44% compared to 40% in 2021).

Gen Zers again lead the way in holiday spending over other generations, with 31% planning to spend more this year than last year on gifts versus 24% overall and about the same (30% vs. 23%) planning to spend more dining out.

“Over the past few years, many businesses have adapted to changing consumer preferences to provide the products and services they are looking for during the holidays and throughout the year,” said Kruzinski. “While this holiday season is expected to be challenging, local businesses have an opportunity to lean on their partnerships, tap into the spending power of Gen Zers, create unique customer experiences and special offers, and bolster sales through an increased desire to ‘shop local.’”

Survey Methodology
The study was conducted by research company Opinium. The sample includes 1,500 national respondents and 1,500 in the Greater Philadelphia and Delaware region who reside in five southeastern Pennsylvania counties (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia), four southern New Jersey counties (Atlantic, Burlington, Camden and Gloucester), and all three Delaware counties (Kent, New Castle and Sussex). All respondents were between the ages of 18 and 55 August 30 – September 19, 2022, with a combined regional and national margin of error of +/- 2.5 percent.

About Opinium, Inc.
Founded in 2007 Opinium is an award-winning strategic insight agency built on the belief that in a world of uncertainty and complexity, success depends on the ability to stay on the pulse of what people think, feel and do. Creative and inquisitive, the Opinium team is passionate about empowering clients to make the decisions that matter. Opinium works with organizations to define and overcome strategic challenges – helping them to get to grips with the world in which their brands operate. It uses the right approach and methodology to deliver robust insights, strategic counsel, and targeted recommendations that generate change and positive outcomes.

About WSFS Financial Corporation
WSFS Financial Corporation is a multi-billion-dollar financial services company. Its primary subsidiary, WSFS Bank, is the oldest and largest locally headquartered bank and trust company headquartered in Delaware and the Greater Philadelphia region. As of June 30, 2022, WSFS Financial Corporation had $20.6 billion in assets on its balance sheet and $60.3 billion in assets under management and administration. WSFS operates from 121 offices, 94 of which are banking offices, located in Pennsylvania (62), Delaware (39), New Jersey (18), Virginia (1) and Nevada (1) and provides comprehensive financial services including commercial banking, retail banking, cash management and trust and wealth management. Other subsidiaries or divisions include Arrow Land Transfer, Cash Connect®, Cypress Capital Management, LLC, NewLane Finance®, Powdermill® Financial Solutions, West Capital Management®, WSFS Institutional Services®, WSFS Mortgage®, WSFS Wealth® Investments, and The Bryn Mawr Trust Company of Delaware. Serving the Greater Delaware Valley since 1832, WSFS Bank is one of the ten oldest banks in the United States continuously operating under the same name. For more information, please visit

Media Contact: Eric Springer
(215) 864-1778

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