US consumers’ personal finances are
deteriorating despite greater confidence about the country’s

Discover Financial Services’ US Spending
a monthly spending index, found 24 percent of
consumers described their finances as ‘poor’, a 3 percentage point
increase on the previous month. Twenty-seven percent believe
economic conditions are improving, an increase of 4 percent.

The mixed results of the survey reflect the
US’s current credit card market, with charge-offs starting
to fall but overall lending also on the decline.

“Financial uncertainty has consumers pretty much adopting a
hold-the-line attitude toward their spending,” said Julie Loeger,
senior vice president of brand and product management for Discover.
“The good news is that for the first time in four months, the
Monitor reported an increase in consumers who feel economic
conditions are improving. If consumers continue to feel the economy
is on the mend, it may give them a reason to believe their
financial situation will improve as well.”

Fifty-seven percent of consumers rated the
economy as poor and 42 percent said they had no money left at the
end of the month after paying bills. The index is based on
interviews with 8,200 consumers.