New data released today in the Gulf South Index Fall Update shows consumers in our region are finding themselves in a cone of uncertainty as economic volatility, the aftermath of Hurricane Ida and lingering COVID-19 concerns impact decision-making for the remainder of 2021.

The latest findings examine views of consumers in the Gulf South and across the nation regarding the economy, outlook for the future, spending habits, who people trust, post-pandemic behaviors and comfort levels with travel and leisure activities.

This new research reflects how the Gulf South differs from the rest of the country in its opinions and behaviors. It also shows where the current challenges lie in the Gulf South and creates a road map for local businesses and organizations to transform these challenges into opportunities.

50% of people in the Gulf South think they can achieve the American dream, down 10 percentage points from March 2020. 47% of people both in our region and nationwide have changed careers since the onset of the pandemic. 53% of people in the Gulf South think now is the time to find a good paying job, and 61% of people throughout the rest of the country agree.

The uncertainty of the economy and pandemic may have consumers holding back on making large purchases for the remainder of the year, but they are still ready to get together for the holidays, with 68% of Gulf South consumers planning to celebrate with family and friends. Some for the first time since the 2019 holiday season.

The data tells us that while people are getting back out there to enjoy the activities they have missed during the last 18 months, many have opted to keep around some of their newfound pandemic behaviors such as mask wearing and takeout or delivery meals. Online shopping is also going to remain a staple activity long after the pandemic is over.

Read all our latest findings in the Gulf South Index Fall Update.

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The Gulf South Index is a cooperative project between The Ehrhardt Group, a public relations, content, issues and crisis firm, and Causeway Solutions, a nationally recognized research and data analysis company, that are both based in the Gulf South.

The Index delves into hundreds of thousands of data points to paint a better picture of how the millions of people living in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida panhandle are going about their lives. We want to find out more about how we make decisions, from what we are buying and how we are getting our news to where we plan to travel.

Causeway Solutions and The Ehrhardt Group conducted a series of online surveys, each of 1,500 adults with a margin of error of 2.5%.  Surveys were conducted on September 13, 2021.

We cannot comment on the methodology of the surveys and research we did not conduct, which is why we do our best to link to the source articles or studies that we share here.

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