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Survey: Confidence Holds Steady in January; Home Improvement Spending Intentions Rise
Feb 7, 2013
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The Discover U.S. Spending Monitor held steady in January, dropping only a third of a point from 91.1 to 90.8. Economic confidence among consumers remained relatively flat month-to-month. At the same time, more consumers are planning to increase spending on home improvement purchases.

In January 2013, the survey reported:
* 31% of consumers expected the U.S. economy to improve, from 32% in December
* 15% rated the economy as good or excellent, unchanged from December
* 47% rated the economy as poor, from 49% in December
* 49% think the economy is getting worse, from 50% in December

The survey showed female respondents had higher confidence about the current state of the economy than males.
* 47% of female consumers rated the economy as poor
* 48% of male consumers rated the economy as poor

* 35% of consumers rated their personal finances as good or excellent, up from 34% in December
* 24% rated their personal finances as poor, unchanged from December
* 23% of respondents expect their personal finances to get better, unchanged from December
* 48% of respondents expect their personal finances to get worse, also unchanged from December

Consumers who make more than $75,000 showed a more pessimistic outlook about their personal finances than those making $40,000-$75,000.

Overall spending intentions were down slightly from in January - a post-holiday pattern that the survey has shown every year since it started five years ago.

* 49% intend to spend less on going out to the movies, restaurants, or major sporting events, up from 48%
* 15% intend to spend more on home improvement purchases, up from 13% in December
* 10% plan to save and invest more, from 8%

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