April may have brought warmer weather, but it didn’t come with sunnier outlooks on the economy. The Discover U.S. Spending Monitor, a monthly poll that tracks consumer confidence, was flat in April compared to the month before.
Only 18% of those polled rated the economy as good or excellent – the same as in March. Forty-six percent of people felt the economy was poor; in March it was 47%. As far as whether the economy is getting better, 30% of respondents took that viewpoint both months. And about half of the folks polled thought the economy was getting worse as they did the month before.
When it came to personal finance, there was a slight rise in optimism – very slight. Thirty-five percent of people said their personal finances were good or excellent in April. In March, that number was 34%. But the number of folks who felt their finances were on the upswing increased by 2% in April, reaching 26%.
Having money left after paying the cable, electric, phone and other bills is always a good feeling. Nearly half of those polled said they expected to have some funds left after sending off their bills in April.
Spending intentions remained the same in April as in March, with the number of people who said they plan to spend the same amount of money from one month to the next staying put at 28%. Only 36% of people polled said they would spend more; in March 39% planned to increase their expenditures.
As far as discretionary spending went, it also stayed virtually static from March to April. People planning to spend more on home improvement moved from 17% to 18%, those who thought they would spend more on major personal purchases barely budged from 13% to 14%, and those who said they would increase spending on discretionary personal expenses dropped from 11% to 9%.
The Discover U.S. Spending Monitor
For the last five years, the Discover Spending Monitor has polled a random sample of 8,200 adults (approximately 275 each night of the month) and released the results in a monthly report. The survey is conducted by independent research firm Rasmussen Reports.