November 06, 2013

October 2013 Discover® U.S. Spending Monitorsm Results


Riverwoods, IL, Nov. 6, 2013- The Discover U.S. Spending Monitor fell 3.8 points in October to 87.9, as consumer confidence in the economy and their personal finances slid to two-year lows. The decline in confidence correlates with a drop in discretionary spending intentions in most categories surveyed. 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

  • Those rating the current state of the economy as poor increased 3 percentage points to 47 percent. When asked whether economic conditions were getting better or worse, 57 percent of consumers felt they were getting worse, up 9 percentage points from September.
  • Consumers with children at home were the biggest drivers of economic pessimism.
    • 63 percent of these respondents felt economic conditions were getting worse compared to 54 percent of consumers with no kids at home.
    • Married consumers were more pessimistic than single consumers as well. Sixty percent of married consumers felt economic conditions were getting worse compared to 50 percent of unmarried consumers.
  • Overall, consumers indicating the economy as good or excellent dropped 2 percentage points to 15 percent.

Personal Finances

  • While there was a 4-percentage point increase to 36 percent in the number of consumers rating the current state of their personal finances as good or excellent, the number of consumers feeling their finances were getting worse also rose in October.
    • 51 percent of consumers felt their finances were getting worse, up 4 percentage points from the prior month. This is the first time a majority of consumers have felt their finances were getting worse since Aug. 2012.
    • 54 percent of consumers with children at home felt their finances were getting worse, up 7 points from September and 5 points higher than consumers with no children at home.
    • Additionally, only 10 percent of consumers who had money left over after paying monthly bills said they would have more money left over than the prior month. This was a 7-point drop from September and the lowest this number has been in two years.

Spending Intentions

  • With a decline in economic and financial confidence, more consumers plan to cut back on discretionary spending over the next 30 days. Spending intentions on household expenses like gas and groceries was the only exception in October, with 37 percent planning to spend more in the next 30 days, 4 percentage points higher than September.
    • 49 percent of consumers plan to spend less on purchases like going out to dinner, the movies or sporting events, up 3 percentage points from the prior month.
    • The percentage of consumers planning to spend less on home improvement projects rose to 49 percent, a 5-percentage point increase from September.
    • 48 percent of consumers plan to spend less on a major purchase like a vacation, also a 5- percentage point increase.
    • 41 percent plan to save and invest less, 6 percentage points higher than the prior month.

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