5 Financial Stats Pointing to an Improving Economy

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Economists may have gotten the vapors over the downgrade in last quarter's gross domestic product figures, from an original forecast of 0.1% to a revised final number of -2.9%, making the first quarter of 2014 the worst-performing U.S. economic quarter since the first quarter of 2009, when we were right in the vortex of the Great Recession.

But U.S. consumers don't seem to be worried -- at least, not yet. 

Overall, Americans are spending more with their credit cards and pursuing more loans on things such as cars and homes, signs they are bullish on the economy.

"It is heartening to see that consumers have greatly increased their faith in the future, as evidenced by the way they are ramping up the pace of spending on debt instruments such as credit cards and loans," says Kevin Gallegos, vice president of Phoenix operations for the Freedom Financial Network. "This isn't surprising, as consumer confidence was markedly higher in May."

That said, too much credit card and personal loan debt helped fuel the run-up to the Great Recession in the first place.

Also see: Why Bank Customers Keep Suffering: Low GDP Means Fed Stays Course

"We do become concerned, however, when debt increases rapidly, as it did in April, while the savings rate continues to decline," Gallegos adds.

That doesn't seem too much of a concern for consumers, who can't help but notice fatter paychecks and bank accounts these days. Economists say they're not wrong in thinking that way.

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