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Spending Is Trending With Holidays On The Horizon

As retailers speculate about the upcoming holiday spend season, the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker reveals that consumer financial confidence is trending up, amidst a year of fluctuating economic indicators. Among employed Americans, 81% feel more or just as stable in their jobs, compared to one year ago, and with this feeling of stability, two thirds (66%) of all consumers surveyed report discretionary spending to be as much as or more than they expected at the start of the year.

View/download the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker

In December 2012, many consumers projected that they would spend more on non-essentials across multiple areas in 2013; when asked again in September 2013, consumers reported that they have met or are close to meeting their anticipated spending for the year:
Spend Category      

% of Americans who intended to spend more in 2013 (as of December 2012)

% of Americans who say they have spent more (as of August 2013)

Big Ticket Items (i.e. Car, TV, majorappliance)
      41%       39%

Home Improvements, remodeling,landscaping and décor
      31%       32%
Fashion: Clothing, accessories, jewelry       28%       36%
Computers, laptops, tablets, e-readers       27%       28%
Travel and Vacations       26%       20%
Health & Fitness       22%       20%
Dining Out       19%       20%

“Americans are on track with their spending plans for the year and may even feel the financial freedom to spend more this year than they had anticipated,” said David Rabkin, SVP U.S. Consumer Lending Products, American Express. “With the holiday shopping season around the corner, this could bode well for retailers.”

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