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News: Expectations Dictate Consumer Spending Habits -

Everything from how much people will be saving or spending to how much debt they will be paying down can be traced to whether they believe we will have an economic upswing or downturn in the coming year.

According to a Harris Poll conducted in December, when it comes to whether the economy will be better or worse this year, 44% of Americans expect it to stay the same, while a third think it’s going to get worse and 24% are looking for an upswing.

With most people believe the economy won't shift much, it’s important to note that the number of people expecting a downturn has gone up when compared to last year going from 23% in Dec 2014 to 32% in Dec 2015.

People who feel that things are going to get better for their family financially over the next six months, more often than not are thinking about upping their financial goals. What goals are they mulling over? First, 57% believe that they will be saving more, up significantly from those who think the economy might stay the same, or even tank a bit or a lot. Just 36% of people who believe things won't change much will be saving, and 30% of those expecting a downturn will be socking away some cash.

Predictable spending and saving

As you may expect, of those expecting a downturn many say they will be reining in their spending, while those looking for an economic upswing indicate that they are gearing up to save more this year.

What about debt? Well, half of those expecting things to get better will looking to make a dent in their debt, by paying it down. While 35% of those expecting their fiscal status quo to stay the same will be paying it down.

Retirement saving is up among those positive thinkers, and as you may well expect, their more negative counterparts will be saving less for their golden years. Home improvements designed to up home values in the real estate market follows the same trend.

The Harris Poll was conducted online from December 9 to 14, 2015, with 2,255 adults in the U.S.