Public More Optimistic About the Economy, But Still Reluctant to Spend

Public More Optimistic About the Economy, But Still Reluctant to Spend

The public is increasingly optimistic that the nation's economy will improve in the next year, while a growing number also expect their personal finances to get better. But this has not caused people to open their wallets: The proportion saying they have cut back on personal spending remains as high as it was earlier this year.

Nearly half of Americans (48%) say they expect economic conditions a year from now to be better than today, up from 40% in February. Over the same period, the percentage saying they expect their personal finances to improve at least some has risen from 54% to 63%.

Despite these positive signs, there is no indication that Americans are more willing to spend money. Roughly three-quarters (76%) report they have cut back on vacation spending, been eating at restaurants less often, or have delayed purchasing a car or major home items. That figure is largely unchanged from February (79%) and last December (77%).

When changes in savings, investment and home-purchasing decisions are factored in, nearly nine-in-ten Americans (87%) say they have made at least one spending cutback or an investment or saving adjustment. This also is about the same as in February (86%) and December (85%).

Read the full report Public More Optimistic About the Economy, But Still Reluctant to Spend on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.

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