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What we need to know about consumers in the current market

Kicking the week off with outlooks, some market conditions.

Spending is soaring, but loan balances aren’t, the big banks said last week.  Wells Fargo loan balances are down 10% compared to a year ago — and 6% from the first three months of 2021.At JPMorgan, they’re down 3% (but lending is picking up among its wealthiest clients, Bloomberg reports).

And fueling the cash situation, the first monthly payouts of cash for parents and caretakers went out last week.      Paid through December, these are designed to further fuel the spending boom and help families.    The child tax credit is forecast to contribute to the single biggest drop in child poverty in history.     The tax credit is expect to add over 1% to monthly disposable income.     And … Goldman Sachs expects the payouts to last beyond 2021.

In that climate, a new survey from the US Chamber of Commerce and MetLife.     Small business owners who can’t find employees are doing it themselves as well as asking staff to take on more hours.      How are they planning to get more workers?   Over a quarter say they will switch up advertising, while others will boost pay (24%), offer flexible hours (22%) or offer a hybrid work environment (21%).

Also released – MarketsandMarkets research on managed services.   Focused on the enterprise, here are the highlights:

  • 60% of enterprises reported that the IT challenges are becoming more acute, and IT is getting harder to manage.
  • Nearly 70% of the enterprises are reaching out to MSPs to fill cloud IT skill gap
  • Enterprises that embrace MSPs have experienced a 42% savings in IT budget.

Why do we care?

Consumers are not borrowing and are flush with cash.    I look at consumer data in the context of IT services because so much of the work is done in small business, which is closely tied to the consumer.      If you’re thinking about your customer’s customer, often in SMB that is the consumer directly.

This should be a very rich environment for IT opportunities.   Customers with cash, being squeezed to do more with less – particularly as it comes to workers.    Layer in the possibility of more possible lockdowns in the fall, now is certainly a good time to be delivering solutions in the workplace layer.