Small businesses in the U.S. are continuing to demonstrate optimism about the future, according to results of the latest Dun & Bradstreet and Pepperdine Private Capital Access Index.
Shoppers expect to spend approximately $748 this season compared to plans of spending $730 at this time last year while 23% indicated they intend to spend more in 2011, up from 13% that planned to spend more in 2010. Meanwhile, 50% intend to spend the same or more as they did last year; up from 43%. This, according to the Discover 2011 Annual Holiday Shopping Survey, which examines holiday spending intentions and trends for the upcoming holiday season, also indicated 6% said they had purchased a gift through a group-buying site, which more than tripled in 2011 to 20 percent. Moreover, 66% plan to spend within their budget and more than 25% would spend between $500 and $1,000 on holiday shopping in 2011.
Down the long bumpy road that was April 2010, consumer confidence was shaken, but in the end remained flat on the Discover U.S. Spending Monitor. The discrepancy in the final numbers from March to April was practically nil, dropping only from 89.5 to 89.4. This was no indication, however, of variation throughout the month. From April 6 to April 20 alone, there was a near 10-point increase in consumers who felt the economy was worsening, from 46% to 56%, while the number of consumers rating their personal finances as poor shot from 20%-28%. Meanwhile, those who said their finances were getting worse exploded from 46 to 55% in conjunction with skyrocketing gas prices.
But when all was said and done, those feeling economic conditions were getting worse stood at 51%-the same as in March- as 18% feel conditions are the same, down 2 points from the previous month, and 26% feel the economy is improving, a 1-point increase from March. To blame: Gas Prices. This is clear to the 57% planning to change their summer vacation because of unmanageable fuel costs while 68% are forced to cut back on discretionary spending. Also throughout the month of April, only 34% described their finances as good or excellent, while 64% say their finances are fair or poor, 49% of whom disclosed they are only worsening-compared to the 48% in March. Only 21% say their finances are improving, compared to 22% in March, for a telling sign of the times.
Consumers’ confidence was up in January thanks in great part to perceived improving U.S. economy and personal finances as the Discover U.S. “Spending Monitor was up 5.6 points to 93.1. This being the highest level of confidence since November 2007, the number of consumers rating the economy as good or excellent hit 10%, compared with 9% in December, while 51% still rate the economy as poor, down 5 points from December, and 37% rate the economy as fair, up 3 points from December. Overall, 33% feel economic conditions are getting better; 40% feel the economy is getting worse-down 4 points since December; and 22% feel economic conditions are unchanged. Among middle-income consumers, 50% currently rate the economy as poor; 32% feel the economy is getting better, a 7-point increase from December; 38% rate their finances as good or excellent; 40% feel their finances are getting worse; and 35% of all consumers anticipate an added expense or income shortfall in the month ahead.
Currently, 70% feel their organization is more secure than it would be if PCI compliance were not required while 87% believe that the PCI requirements are necessary for protecting cardholder data. Meanwhile, 67% anticipate their spending on PCI compliance will increase in the next year. This, according to Cisco research, also shows 60% suggested PCI-compliance projects can drive other network or network security projects and 43% were most perplexed with the challenge of educating employees on the proper handling of cardholder data while updating antiquated systems was the most encumbering to 32%. Additional findings show government respondents fared better than all other sectors analyzed, with 85% passing their initial assessment while health care organizations only achieved a 72% pass rate and over 85% were aware of the clarifications and recommendations associated with the newly announced PCI DSS 2.0 standards.
The percentage of mothers who are uncomfortable with their debt is up to 49% from the three months ago figure of 46% and up ten points from the six month ago figure of 39%. Mothers are also increasingly uncomfortable with their level of savings, with 57% either somewhat or very uncomfortable with their level of savings- slightly higher than both Americans overall and women overall. This, according to Citi, also shows 75% feels it is only a fair or poor time to make a major purchase; 80% report cutting back on everyday expenses, compared to 72 percent of Americans overall; 66% plan to decrease spending on eating out; 59% plan to decrease the amount they spend on vacations; and 73% are somewhat or very optimistic that their own financial situation will improve over the next 12 months.
The three-month consecutive drop in small business owner confidence skidded to a halt in September, having jumped from 73 to 73.8 on the Discover Small Business Watch. This follows a 14.4 May plummet as concerns grow over temporary cash flow issues, offsetting some improvement in the way small business owners see the climate for their own operations. Small business owners reporting temporary cash flow issues jumped to 46% for the month, down from 53% in August, while 50% do not and 5% are unsure. Additionally, 68% of small business owners rate the economy poor, up from 62% in August; 16% plan to increase spending, down from 17% last month; and 55% report economic conditions are getting worse for their businesses. This is most evident in the 71% waiting for the economy to improve before they do any hiring and the 73% having disclosed the economy has hurt their business.
The number of consumers rating their personal finances as poor reached a six-month high in August on the Discover U.S. Spending Monitor, which was flat overall from the month prior having dropped just 0.3 points to 86.2. Only 27% of consumers feel economic conditions are improving, a 4-point increase from July, which was offset by 24% of consumers rating their personal finances as poor, a 3-point rise from July. Additional findings show 19% plan to spend more in the next 30 days, unchanged from July; 25% planned to spend less, 1 point lower than July; 48% plan to spend less on going out to dinner or the movies, unchanged from July; 48% plan to spend less on home improvements, unchanged from July; and 45% plan to spend less on a vacation or gym membership, 1 point lower than July. Additionally, 57% rate the Economy as Poor; 57% rate current economic conditions as poor; 42% have no money left over after paying monthly bills; while 37% are expecting an income shortfall or added expense in the next 30 days, unchanged from July.
2010 SPENDING MONITOR
A majority of American consumers believe their personal finances are improving, but are less optimistic about the broader economy with 57% disclosing they have turned the corner on their own finances and 39% believe the U.S. economy is improving. This, according to the Chase Card Services “2010 Personal Finance Confidence Survey” of 1,000 American consumers about personal finances and the economy in the new year, also showed 72% trust themselves most when it comes to managing their personal finances. Additional findings show 57% believe their personal finances have turned the corner and are getting better; 10% believe their personal finances will get worse; 52% say they do not feel in complete control of their finances; 68% say they would benefit from better ways to manage their personal finances; and 54% believe the economy is not improving, including 35% who believe the economy will get worse and the 39% whom believe the economy is getting better.
Shoppers are planning to spend 15% less on holiday gifts compared to last year while 48% of shoppers who plan to spend less blame the economy, but 80% are nonetheless keeping spirits high. The findings, made available through the Discover Financial Services annual “Holiday Shopping Survey,” also show shoppers plan to spend $723 on holiday gifts, compared to $831 in last yearâs survey and $896 in the 2007 survey; Women plan to spend $742 while men will spend $702; 47% plan to spend between $100 and $500 this holiday season; 25% anticipate spending anywhere from $500 to $1,000; 43% of shoppers plan to spend less this holiday season; 63% are very concerned, concerned or somewhat concerned about their finances down from 74% Y/Y; and 66% plan to stay within their holiday shopping budget.
A new poll finds that 63% of Americans surveyed said the way they spend and save has been forever changed as a result of the economic downturn. Only 29% said spending and saving would go back to the way it was before the recession. The survey from Citi also revealed that 61% will continue to cut down on credit card purchases. Fifty-nine percent will continue to cut back on everyday expenses; 60% will continue to save and invest more; 63% will continue to reduce the amount of money they owe. Also, 68% of African Americans and 66% of Hispanics have cut down on credit card purchases (compared to 62% of the national sample).
Additionally, Citi found that those who earn less than $50,000 were most likely to cut back on everyday expenses (80%), followed by 76% for those who earn $50,000 – $75,000. But even at the top of the income scale, people are making adjustments and cutting back on everyday expenses â 70% for those who earn more than $150,000 and 68% for those who earn $75,000 – $150,000.
Risk management solution provider Actimize has released the “Card Fraud and Mass Compromise” study that reveals 45% of financial service professionals believe
they have seen mass compromised data used in fraud attacks against their
institutions. Additional data released indicate that 80% of respondents somewhat or strongly agreed
that mass compromise events can decrease consumer confidence in the
ATM/debit card channel, 57% said mass compromise events increase overall costs for financial institutions and 70% of respondents saw an increase in fraud claims in 2008
as compared to 2007, of those with increased fraud claims, 58%
experienced double digit growth with over 80% who expect ATM/debit card fraud attempts to increase in
2009 as compared to 2008, with 35 percent predicting a 10 to 14 percent
growth rate this year.