More Americans told American Express survey-takers that they are financially optimistic going into 2013.
The latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker reported that 39% of Americans are optimistic going into the new year, compared to 35% who said so going into 2012. 10% report they are "unconcerned" going into 2013, compared to 6% who said they were "unconcerned" a year ago.
The Amex survey found that:
* 8% plan to buy a house in 2013
* 17% plan to buy a major household appliance
* 11% plan significant home renovations
Amex said consumers hope to save more in 2013, but also plan on doing some spending. More of them plan to boost spending on leisure travel (26% going into 2013, up from 22% going into 2012) and hope to spend more on clothes and accessories (28% going into 2013, up from 23%), home redecoration (24% going into 2013, up from 23%), dinners out (19%, up from 14%), and entertainment (19%, up from 14%).
Americans were surveyed at the end of December and reported more optimism and increased spending plans despite the pending uncertainty of Fiscal Cliff negotiations.
Despite increased spending plans, saving money was still Americans' biggest overall intention in 2013:
* 57% named saving money as their top intention for 2013
* 51%: spending more time with family/friends
* 42%: upping their exercise routine
Focusing on financial goals specifically, the survey found that priorities had shifted from a year ago: 19% said finding a job or finding a better job was their top financial goal, up from 14% in 2012. Last year's top financial goal - significantly reducing or paying off debt - dropped to No. 2 in the most recent survey at 17% (down from 19% a year ago).
Just over half of Americans expressed positive feelings, or at least a lack of anxiety, about their financial state going into 2013:
* 39% said they feel "optimistic"
* 10%: "unconcerned"
* 2%: "indulgent"
The other half of Americans are less positive:
* 21% said they feel "frugal"
* 14%: "frightened"
* 12%: "pessimistic"
Consumers have plans to buy more digital devices in 2013:
* 49% plan to buy a TV, up from 44% going into 2012
* 48% plan to buy a tablet or e-book reader, up from 42%
* 45% plan to buy a video game system and games, up from 39%
* 45% plan to buy cameras or camcorders, up from 41%
* 44% plan to buy a portable media player, up from 38%
Just under half of consumers - 48% - said they own a smartphone.
to Daily News