Many North Carolinians plan to change spending patterns following pandemic

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As the state gets ready for the process of slowly reopening from stay-at-home orders, a study from the Chernoff Newmann research marketing firm provides a snapshot of how North Carolinians have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and how behavior might change in the coming weeks.

According to the statewide survey of 500 residents, half of households report changes at work, ranging from working from home to having someone in the household furloughed or terminated.

Still, 83% of working consumers are confident their job will be available when the pandemic ends.

Consumers also anticipate altering their typical routines once “normal” life resumes, which may mean longer pain for the restaurant and tourism industries. About 71% of respondents say they will continue to practice social distancing, 69% plan to cook more at home and 45% will order take out rather than dining in at restaurants once the pandemic subsides.

For entertainment, 61% of North Carolinians plan to stream movies at home instead of returning to theaters. Most residents also anticipate foregoing a vacation this year. Two-thirds of respondents have already cancelled trip plans, while 69% say they’re not confident they will be able to vacation in the summer at all.

“The results reveal how North Carolinians have modified their behaviors in the short term, but also how some of these behaviors might continue in the mid- to longer-term and the implications these changes may have on key industries and the broader economy,” said Fenton Overdyke, director of research for Chernoff Newman, which is based in Columbia and has an office in Charlotte.

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