September 04, 2013

August 2013 Discover® U.S. Spending Monitorsm Results


Riverwoods, IL, Sept. 4, 2013- The Discover U.S. Spending Monitor fell 1.4 points in August to 91.0, in response to a continued decline in economic confidence from consumers. This month marked the first time in a year that more than half of respondents, predominantly in the middle and upper economic brackets, ranked the economy as getting worse. The Monitor is a 6-year-old daily poll tracking economic confidence and spending intentions of nearly 8,200 consumers throughout the month.

Economic Outlook

  • Consumers indicating the economy is good or excellent declined 3 percentage points to 17 percent in August.
  • Those responding that the economy is getting worse increased 3 percentage points to 51 percent, the first time since September 2012 that the number exceeded more than half of consumers.
  • Consumers making $40,000-$75,000 indicating the economy is getting worse increased 6 percentage points to 52 percent.
    • Those making more than $75,000 per year indicating the economy is getting worse had a 9-point increase to 40 percent.
    • There was actually a 1-point decrease to 54 percent in the number of consumers making less than $40,000 who believe the economy is getting worse.
  • Consumers with children who rate the economy as getting worse increased 2 percentage points to 52 percent, while those without kids also increased 2 percentage points to 50 percent.

Personal Finances

  • Outlook on personal finances held steady in August.
    • The overall perspective on finances getting better next month increased just 1 percentage point to 24 percent. However, consumers with children at home who believe their finances are getting better increased 7 percentage points to 32 percent.
    • The back-to-school shopping season may have correlated with a decrease in the number of consumers who said they will have money left over after paying their bills. In August, 44 percent said they would have money left over compared to 47 percent the prior month.
  • Gender also played a role in financial outlook this month, with women taking a more pessimistic view than men.
    • Female respondents who rated their personal finances as good or excellent declined 2 percentage points to 32 percent. Men with the same outlook increased 2 percentage points to 36 percent.
    • Overall, consumers rating their current personal finances as good or excellent remained the same at 34 percent.

Spending Intentions

  • More consumers, 39 percent, said they increased their spending in August over the prior month, 36 percent. But the number of consumers planning to spend more in the next 30 days declined 2 percentage points to 28 percent.
    • However, intent to spend more on discretionary personal purchases increased 2 percentage points to 11 percent.
    • Intent to spend more on household expenses and major personal purchases both declined 1 point to 38 percent and 15 percent, respectively.
    • Consumers’ intent to spend more on household improvements remained at 16 percent.
  • Respondents who intend to save or invest less next month increased 3 percentage points to 39 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 issues the Discover card, America's cash rewards pioneer, and offers home loans, private student loans, personal loans, home equity loans, checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit and money market accounts through its direct banking business. It operates the 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