If This Survey Is Accurate, Then Consumers Are Totally Not Feeling The Impact Of Higher Taxes

Photo: flickr/kanaka

Are higher taxes (in the form of the expiration of the Payroll Tax Holiday) hurting the consumer?It’s one of the most important questions in the economy.

A new survey from Discover — its US Spending Monitor for February — suggests that consumer activity and outlook continues to improve.

Here’s the release/data we got via email.


Economic Outlook

  • The number of respondents rating the economy as good or excellent increased 4 percentage points to 19 per cent in February.
  • Respondents ages 18 to 39 rating the economy as excellent or good had the largest increase of any age group, with a 9-percentage point jump to 22 per cent.
  • Respondents ages 40 to 64 with the same rating remained at 16 per cent, and those 65 and older increased 1 point to 18 per cent.
  • Respondents who expect the U.S. economy to improve increased 1 point to 32 per cent.
  • Those who expect the economy to stay the same also increased 1 point, to 17 per cent.
  • Consumers expecting the economy to get worse declined 2 points to 47 per cent.

Personal Finances

  • Consumer outlook on personal finances improved in February, as the number of consumers who rate their finances as excellent or good increased 2 points to 37 per cent.
  • Those that expect their finances to get better also increased 2 percentage points, to 25 per cent.
  • The number of consumers expecting their personal finances to get worse decreased 1 point to 47 per cent.
  • Of the 47 per cent of respondents who anticipate having money left after paying bills this month, 66 per cent anticipate having the same amount of money left over as last month, a 7-point increase.
  • Respondents who plan to save the same amount next month increased 1 percentage point to 48 per cent.


Spending Intentions

  • Consumer spending intentions also held steady in February. The number of respondents planning to spend the same amount of money next month increased 4 percentage points next month increased 1 percentage point to 52 per cent.
  • Likewise, those planning to spend less next month declined to 18 per cent, a change of 5 percentage points.
  • When looking at individual categories of spending, the number of consumers planning to spend the same next month increased.
  • Those planning to spend the same on discretionary personal purchases increased 2 percentage points to 41 per cent.
  • Consumers planning to spend the same on household improvements increased 3 percentage points to 35 per cent.
  • Spending the same on major personal purchases remained the same at 37 per cent; however, there was 2 percentage point decline in those planning to spend more next month, to 11 per cent.

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