The International Council of Shopping Centers just released Phase II of a consumer tracking study designed to show how consumer attitudes and spending habits are affected by the current economic climate. The study measures shopping and saving habits, customer perceptions about financial well-being, Internet shopping behavior, and social media use as it relates to retail. It compares the responses of US and Canadian consumers to those recorded in Phase I of the study, which was conduced in October 2009.

The following is a description of the report from ICSC’s President, Michael P. Kercheva:

“While consumers overall financial perceptions remain fairly flat from Phase I to Phase II, there have been some positive changes in shopping behaviors as 28% of consumers show an inclination to spend more money, reporting that their wallet or purse strings were starting to loosen when it comes to shopping. Additionally, consumers are saying that they are visiting shopping centers more often now than in the past year and more importantly, their purchases of discretionary goods, and spending on apparel and casual dining has increased.”

The report can be downloaded here.