Consumer Payment Card News

Spending Pulse

The Discover “U.S. Spending Monitor” held steady in February as spending intentions flattened, while pessimism about the economy increased. After sharp spending cutbacks in December and then January, following the end of the holiday season, consumers steadied their spending, but were cautious about any increases. Even lower expected pressures on household expenses and the announced economic stimulus package did not encourage a rebound. Record pessimism about the economy and personal finances seems to be constraining consumers’ willingness to spend more. The Monitor was essentially unchanged in February, up just .3 to 86.4. Less than 19% of consumers rate the economy as good or excellent these days, a new Monitor low and a sharp drop from 32.5% in October. Outlook ahead also hit a new low with 70% expecting economic conditions to worsen.

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