The Discover U.S. Spending Monitor increased 6.8 points from September to October, the largest one-month increase in the history of the Monitor. The Monitor is a 5-year-old daily poll tracking economic confidence and spending intentions of nearly 8,200 consumers throughout the month. October’s 98.1 rating is an all-time high for the Monitor.
Highlights of Discover U.S. Spending Monitor Results
|Discover U.S. Spending Monitor Index||88.6||91.3||98.1|
|U.S. Economy Improving||26%||30%||35%|
|Personal Finances Improving||20%||23%||28%|
Economic Confidence Continues to Improve
The percent of consumers rating the U.S. economy as good or excellent increased to 18 percent in October, up 5 percentage points from September 2012 and 11 percentage points from October 2011. In advance of the last presidential election in October 2008, only 8 percent of consumers rated the U.S. economy as good or excellent.
- While 51 percent of consumers viewed the economy as poor in October, this was a 5-point decrease from September 2012 and an 18-point decrease from October 2011.
- From September 2012 to October 2012, male and female respondents who rated the economy as good or excellent increased by 7 points to 20 percent and 4 points to 16 percent, respectively.
- Respondents expecting the economy to improve increased 5 points from the prior month and 21 points from October 2011 to a Monitor-high 35 percent.
- While 46 percent of consumers with an income of greater than $75,000 expect the economy to improve, only 35 percent of those making between $40,000 and $75,000 and 28 percent of those making less than $40,000 had the same optimism.
Personal Finance Optimism Continues to GrowConsumers are more optimistic about their personal finances as well.
- 37 percent of consumers rated their personal finances as good or excellent, a 3-point increase from September and an 8-point increase year-over-year.
- Additionally, 28 percent of respondents expect their personal finances to improve moving forward, an increase of 4 points from September.
- There was an even greater gap between men and women who expect their personal finances to get better next month, with 31 percent of men (up 7 points from September) and 25 percent of women (up 2 points) expecting their personal finances to improve.
- On household expenses, such as gas and groceries, 49 percent of consumers expect to spend the same next month, up 5 points from September.
- Up 1 point from September, 10 percent of consumers expect to spend more on discretionary personal expenses next month, while those who expect to spend the same next month increased 3 points, to 41 percent.
- On major personal purchases like a vacation, 45 percent expect to spend less, down 3 points from September, while 39 percent plan to spend the same, up 2 points.
- Consumers plan to spend less on household improvements next month (47 percent), a 2-point decrease from September. Intentions to spend the same next month increased by 2 points, to 34 percent.
- Respondents who anticipate added expenses or a shortfall in income in the next month decreased to 32 percent, a record low for the Monitor.