With the economy slowly recovering and the fiscal cliff negotiations behind us, more Americans are optimistic about their financial state than were a year ago.
Those are the basic findings behind the 2013 edition of The American Express Spending & Saving Tracker: a survey of 1,508 U.S. adults with a confidence level of 95 percent that looks at how people feel about their finances headed into 2013, as well as what they plan to spend on and save towards in the coming year.
Among the most interesting statistics: 39 percent say they are “financially optimistic” this year, compared to 34 percent in 2012, and 10 percent said they’re at least “unconcerned” with finances, up 4 percent form a year ago.
PYMNTS.com’s Data Point takes a look at the other numbers you need to know.
Spending And Saving: Both Set To Rise
More consumers said they plan to spend on non-essential items and serves this year, with clothes and accessories rising 4 percent to 26 percent, home decorations rising one percent to 24 percent and dinners out and entertainment budgets both increasing five percent to 19 percent, all up from a year ago. That being said, Americans listed saving money as their top overall priority headed into 2013, with 57 percent indicating saving is in their plans. More Americans – 89 percent to 82 percent – have a specific strategy in mind to reach their savings goals this year than did in 2012.
Indulging In Devices
As consumers expect to be able to spend a little more this year, digital devices should see a nice boost. Forty-nine percent of consumers said they plan on spending more on televisions this year, while 48 percent indicated they’d splurge on tablets or e-books: up from 44 percent and 42 percent, respectively, a year ago. Video games and cameras were each targets for 45 percent of consumers, while they ranked in at just a respective 39 and 41 percent last year, and portable media players saw a 6 percent jump from 38 percent to 44 percent.
Steady Numbers For Travel
Similarly to 2011, over half (55 percent) of consumers expect to travel for fun this year, while 77 percent of affluent people expect at least one leisure trip. Seventy-four percent of leisure travelers expect to fly at least once in 2013, while this number rises to 89 percent among the wealthy. While premeditated trips are down 7 percent to 50 percent this year, parents say they are 8 percent more likely to bring their children with them on vacations, with 60 percent indicating they would do so.
To read more on how consumers are feeling as 2013 begins, read the full American Express report here.