March 06, 2013

February 2013 Discover® U.S. Spending Monitorsm Results

Economic Confidence Increases, Spending Intentions Hold Steady; Views on Personal Finances Improves in February

Riverwoods, IL, March 6, 2013- The Discover U.S. Spending Monitor rose 3.0 points in February to 93.8 along with an increase in economic and financial confidence among consumers. Consumer spending intentions also held steady. The Monitor is a 5-year-old daily poll tracking economic confidence and spending intentions of nearly 8,200 consumers throughout the month.

Economic Outlook

  • The number of respondents rating the economy as good or excellent increased 4 percentage points to 19 percent in February.
  • Respondents ages 18 to 39 rating the economy as excellent or good had the largest increase of any age group, with a 9-percentage point jump to 22 percent.
    • Respondents ages 40 to 64 with the same rating remained at 16 percent, and those 65 and older increased 1 point to 18 percent.
  • Respondents who expect the U.S. economy to improve increased 1 point to 32 percent.
    • Those who expect the economy to stay the same also increased 1 point, to 17 percent.
    • Consumers expecting the economy to get worse declined 2 points to 47 percent.

Personal Finances

  • Consumer outlook on personal finances improved in February, as the number of consumers who rate their finances as excellent or good increased 2 points to 37 percent.
  • Those that expect their finances to get better also increased 2 percentage points, to 25 percent.
    • The number of consumers expecting their personal finances to get worse decreased 1 point to 47 percent.
  • Of the 47 percent of respondents who anticipate having money left after paying bills this month, 66 percent anticipate having the same amount of money left over as last month, a 7-point increase.
  • Respondents who plan to save the same amount next month increased 1 percentage point to 48 percent.

Spending Intentions

  • Consumer spending intentions also held steady in February. The number of respondents planning to spend the same amount of money next month increased 4 percentage points next month increased 1 percentage point to 52 percent.
    • Likewise, those planning to spend less next month declined to 18 percent, a change of 5 percentage points.
  • When looking at individual categories of spending, the number of consumers planning to spend the same next month increased.
    • Those planning to spend the same on discretionary personal purchases increased 2 percentage points to 41 percent.
    • Consumers planning to spend the same on household improvements increased 3 percentage points to 35 percent.
    • Spending the same on major personal purchases remained the same at 37 percent; however, there was 2 percentage point decline in those planning to spend more next month, to 11 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