Consumer Payment Card News

Gettin Better

Economic confidence picked up again in May for the third consecutive month as more Americans believe the economy is getting better. However, consumers are still reluctant to increase their spending intentions, especially on discretionary purchases. The Discover “U.S. Spending Monitor” increased by 2.0 points in May to 86.2, the highest since September. The number of consumers saying the economy is getting better rose 5 points to 27%, a new high. The number of consumers saying their personal finances are getting better rose to 20%, also the highest since September. However, since January, the spending component of the “Index” has improved less than a point, compared to the indexs economic component, which has jumped 18 points. The number of consumers expecting to spend more in the month ahead rose to 20%. For May, 30% of consumers expected to spend more on household expenses, a 5-point increase from April as gas prices reached their highest levels of the year. But anticipated discretionary purchases remained largely flat, increasing less than a point to 10% in May. Nearly half, 49%, still plan on cutting back on these expenses. Discover notes that for the first time in the “Monitor”s history less than half of consumers reported that both economic conditions and their finances are getting worse.

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