Consumer Payment Card News

Closed Wallets

Consumers’ economic confidence hit bottom again, declining by 7% from September to October. About 63% now rate the economy as poor and 72% think things are getting worse and many have decided to sit on their wallets. The “Discover U.S. Spending Monitor” fell a record six points in October to 80.4. For the first time since the “Monitors” inception, 60% of consumers rate their finances as fair or poor. Nearly 56% of consumers also said their finances were getting worse. This record-high reading is up 4 points from September and more than 15 points from a year ago. However, a majority of consumers continue to have money left over after paying their monthly bills. This is the seventh consecutive month the number has been over 50%. Of those who had money left over, 79% have the same or more money left over than the previous month. Discover says one reason for the surplus may be consumers desire to cut back on discretionary spending to make ends meet. Consumers seem content with holding onto their extra money rather than spending it, an obstacle to a consumer-led economic recovery.

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