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American Spending & Saving Trends Signal Rising Confidence

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American Spending & Saving Trends Signal Rising Confidence

Key consumer cutbacks show year-over-year drops.

According to a recent poll by Harris, at 2014's halfway point, Americans are loosening their purse strings in several key areas, backing off of several key efficiencies and cutbacks in comparison to a year ago, indicating Americans may be a bit more confident in their financial prospects for the near future. Looking further back, American financial attitudes continue to show great improvement over a few years ago.

Dinner and a movie
Americans are less likely than a year ago to say that they plan on decreasing their spending on eating out at restaurants within the next six months (56%, down 6 points), along with being a bit less likely to say this than in March (down 3 points). U.S. adults are also less likely than a year ago to say they'll reduce spending on entertainment (53%, down 6 points).

"The picture isn't entirely rosy though."

The picture isn't entirely rosy though – for better or worse, Americans show no year-over-year change in their likelihood to say they'll save or invest more money in the next six months (unchanged at 50%) or that they'll have more money to spend the way they want (32%, up 1 point).

Women are more likely than men to anticipate cutting back on entertainment spending (56% vs. 50%); on the more free-spending end of the spectrum, men are more likely than women to anticipate taking a vacation away from home lasting longer than a week (40% vs. 34%).

Looking at things generationally, younger Americans are more likely to anticipate both cutting back and spending big. Echo Boomers, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers are all more likely than Matures to indicate they plan both restaurant (60%, 60% and 55% vs. 45%) and entertainment (55%, 55% and 54% vs. 43%) cutbacks, while Millennials are more likely than any other generation to indicate they plan on saving or investing more money (64% vs. 45%, 46% and 37%).

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