People are feeling better about their financial outlook than they have all year. They plan to spend more money in July than earlier this year, and their optimism extends to the national economy as well.
The Discover U.S. Spending Monitor is a measure of consumer confidence including personal finance, economic outlook and spending intentions. In the six years that Discover has been tracking the economic outlook through the Monitor, this is only the second time that it has broken 100 points. It rose 5.9 points over May to reach 103.1. The previous record high for the economic component of the Spending Monitor was in June 2007.
When it came to their own financial pictures, more people rated them as good or excellent in June compared to last month. Thirty-six percent of folks felt good about their personal finances, compared with 33% in May. The percentage of people who said their financial situation was getting better was up two percentage points, to 26%, and there was a slight uptick in people who predicted having money left over after paying bills, to 46%.
The one caveat to the overall optimism is that young people and older folks were more optimistic than middle-aged respondents. The 18-39 year-old demographic who said their finances were good or excellent rose by seven points, and the over-65 set who said the same rose by three points. However, the percentage of people aged 40-64 who said their financial status was good or excellent fell by two points.
Men have brighter outlook than women
More people also felt good about the economy, with 23% rating it good or excellent—an 11-point increase year-over-year. Thirty-six percent of respondents said the economy would continue to improve, an increase of four points. Although 43% of people felt the economy has a decline in store, that’s still 2% fewer pessimists than in the previous month.
Men were more optimistic than women about the economic outlook. There was a seven-point increase in men who felt the economy was on the mend, compared with a two-point increase in women who felt the same. Overall, 38% of men and 34% of women felt that the economy is getting better.
Spend it while you’ve got it
Thirty-one percent of people said they were planning to spend more in the next 30 days than the last 30, an increase of four percentage points. Increased spending was anticipated on household expenses (40%), discretionary personal purchases (14%) and major personal purchases (18%).
More people also planned to save or invest their money in the coming month as well as spending more. Forty-nine percent of people said that saving or investing was planned, an increase of two percentage points over last month.