The Discover “U.S. Spending Monitor” recorded its third consecutive monthly decline this month, falling more than four points to 86. Both the economic and spending components of the index reached new lows in January as just over 70% of consumers now think the economy is in decline and 48% feel the same way about their personal finances. Expected household expenses remain high: Consumers steady their spending as nearly half intend to cut back on discretionary purchases. The number of people preparing to spend more next month fell to 30%, down a point from December and five points from October. At the same time, consumers seem to be ratcheting down plans for spending in areas beyond necessities. Nearly half of the January sample said they expect to do less discretionary spending in February. That’s nearly 5 points higher than December and a full 10 points more than what consumers said last September.