July 03, 2012

Consumer Confidence Declines In June, According To The Discover U.S. Spending Monitorsm

Consumers’ Discretionary Spending Intentions Head Lower as Confidence in the Economy, Personal Finances Weaken

RIVERWOODS, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jul. 3, 2012-- Consumer confidence in the economy and personal finances, which are key economic indicators, worsened in June to the lowest levels since January 2012. The Discover U.S. Spending Monitor, a 5-year-old daily poll tracking economic confidence and spending intentions of nearly 8,200 consumers throughout the month, declined 4.8 points to 90.7 in June.

Highlights of Discover U.S. Spending Monitor Results
  April   May   June
    2012   2012   2012
Discover U.S. Spending Monitor Index   96.7   95.5   90.7
U.S. Economy Improving   33%   33%   29%
Personal Finances Improving   27%   25%   23%

Economic Expectations Weaken

  • The percentage of respondents who view the U.S. economy as improving dropped 4 percentage points to 29 percent in June.
  • At the same time, 53 percent of consumers now rate the U.S. economy as poor, which is an increase of 3 percentage points from the prior month and the highest level since January 2012.
  • Half of women now expect the economy to get worse, up 4 percentage points from last month; only 48 percent of men expect the same economic trend, and this remains unchanged from the prior month.

Personal Finances Worsen

Consumer sentiment about personal finances declined in June compared to May.

  • Consumers rating their finances as fair remained at 40 percent. However, those who view their finances as excellent or good was 4 percentage points lower at 33 percent while those who view their finances as poor increased 2 percentage points to 24 percent.
  • Consumers who anticipate their personal finances getting worse increased 4 percentage points to 47 percent.
  • The percent of parents with kids at home who believe their personal finances will get worse increased 8 percentage points to 48 percent and, for 18 to 39-year olds, there was a 6 percentage point increase to 44 percent.

Spending Intentions Flat to Lower for the Next Month

Consumers’ declining confidence in the economy and their personal finances is affecting their spending intentions as well. While half of respondents plan to spend about the same next month, those expecting to spend more dropped 4 percentage points to 25 percent.

  • Expectations for lower spending on home improvements increased 4 percentage points from the prior month to 48 percent.
  • Nearly 47 percent of consumers expect to spend less on discretionary purchases like going out to dinner or the movies. However, those expecting to spend more held steady at 12 percent.
  • More consumers expect spending on major personal purchases, like vacations, in the next month to be lower, with a 6-point increase to 48 percent.

About Discover U.S. Spending Monitor

The Discover U.S. Spending MonitorSM is a monthly index of consumer spending intentions and capacity that is based on interviews with a random sample of 8,200 U.S. adults conducted at a rate of 275 per night. In addition to spending, the survey asks consumers their opinions on the U.S. economy and their personal finances. The Monitor began in May 2007 with a base index of 100. Surveys are conducted by Rasmussen Reports, an independent survey research firm (

About Discover

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company operates the Discover card, America's cash rewards pioneer, and offers home loans, private student loans, personal loans, online savings accounts, certificates of deposit and money market accounts through its direct banking business. Its payment businesses consist of Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation's leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories. For more information, visit

Source: Discover Financial Services

Matthew Towson, 224-405-5649