January 08, 2014

December 2013 Discover® U.S. Spending Monitorsm Results


Riverwoods, IL, Jan. 8, 2014- The Discover U.S. Spending Monitor remained at 89.0 in December, as consumer confidence in the economy rose to its highest level since July, but spending intentions declined. There was a significant increase in the number of respondents who believe economic conditions are improving heading into 2014. 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

The number of consumers who believe the economy is getting better increased 5 percentage points to 30 percent.

  • Consumers ages 18-39 showed the biggest improvement in economic outlook, as 30 percent of this group believe economic conditions are improving, a 7-percentage-point improvement from November.
    • Consumers ages 40-64 who believe the economy is getting better increased 3 percentage points to 30 percent.
    • Those 65 and older with the same view increased 5 percentage points to 31 percent.


Personal Finances

While holiday spending tends to strain budgets, consumer confidence in their personal finances improved from November to December.

    • Consumers who believe their finances are getting better increased 2 percentage points to 22 percent.
  • Once again, consumers ages 18-39 were the most optimistic. Twenty-four percent of consumers in this age group believe their finances are getting better, a 6-percentage-point improvement from November. Consumers ages 40 and over showed no change in their financial outlook month-to-month.


Spending Intentions

As consumers head into the New Year, spending intentions are on the decline, which has been a typical pattern reported in the Monitor post-holidays. Overall, 29 percent anticipate spending less in January than they did in December, a 13-percentage-point increase from the prior month.

    • The percentage of consumers planning to spend less on discretionary personal expenses next month increased 6 percentage points to 51 percent. Those planning to spend less on major personal purchases increased 1 percentage point to 48 percent.
    • 11 percent plan to spend less on household expenses like gas and groceries, up 3 percentage points.
    • 50 percent of consumers plan to spend less on household improvements, a 3-percentage-point increase from November.


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