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Poll: Consumer confidence rising but discretionary spending flat

Consumer confidence is rising, according to the most recent poll by the Discover U.S. Spending Monitor, but discoverdiscretionary spending remains flat

The poll showed that confidence rose for the third consecutive month, up 2 points in May to 86.2 (based out of 100). This is the highest the Monitor’s index has been since September, as the number of consumers saying the economy is getting better rose 5 points to 27 percent, a new Monitor high.

The number of consumers feeling the economy is getting worse reached a Monitor low in May as well. For the first time less than half, 49 percent, of consumers were pessimistic in their economic outlook.

The sharp rise in economic confidence also has consumers feeling better about their personal finances. The number of consumers saying their personal finances are getting better rose to 20 percent, a number not reached since September.

Despite their improved economic and financial attitudes, consumers are reluctant to increase their spending intentions, especially on discretionary purchases. Since January, the spending component of the index has improved less than a point, compared to the index’s economic component, which has jumped 18 points. With gas prices on the rise, consumers are preparing to spend more on household expenses, which judging from the Monitor’s history, may have a negative effect on discretionary spending intentions.

For more Discover U.S. Spending Monitor survey data, charts and information, please visit www.discoverfinancial.com/surveys/spending.shtml.

Source: Discover financial Services, www.discoverfinancial.com.


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