A new survey has found Americans imagine the following five travel experiences: Hologram Personal Trainers Digital Passports and Face Recognition; Underwater Hotels; Space Travel; and Eco-Travel Destinations.
Chase implemented the voting period for the 2012 Chase Community Giving program from now until September 19 to determine the allocation of $5 million in Chase grants to 196 charities selected by Facebook users and Chase online customers. Open to the public at Facebook.com/ChaseCommunityGiving and for Chase customers at Chase.com/ChaseGiving, this will determine the 196 charities who receive the most votes, with $250,000 to the charity receiving the most votes; $100,000 to each of the next ten runner-up charities; $50,000 to each of the next thirty-five runner-up charities; $20,000 to each of the next fifty runner-up charities; and $10,000 to each of the next one hundred runner-up charities. Nominated charities must be a registered 501(c)(3) public charity with annual operating expenses below $10 million and meet other requirements as described in the program’s rules.
Contrary to growing figures for promising growth across the board, IE. falling unemployment and credit card chargeoffs, consumer confidence is continuing to slip, down for the second straight month in March thanks to high gas prices on budding pessimism. This, as indicated on the Discover U.S. Spending Monitor, also shows the majority of consumers rate the economy as poor at 53%, practically unchanged from February. Having fallen 2.6 points to 89.5 to below 90 for the first time since December 2010, the Discover U.S. Spending Monitor reflected 35% rate the economy as fair and just 10% rate the economy as good or excellent.
Furthermore, the majority of Americans at 51% feel economic conditions are getting worse, a 7-point jump from February and the highest number since September 2010. Twenty percent of respondents feel conditions are the same, while 25 percent of the population feels the economy is improving. Only Thirty-two percent rate their finances as good or excellent, down 3 points from February; 42% rate their finances as fair; and 24% say their finances are poor. Overall, 33 percent of consumers expect to spend more in the month ahead, an 8-point rise from February while a majority of consumers at 55% are planning to spend more on gas, groceries and their mortgages, up 14 points from February and the highest since July 2008.
Consumer confidence dropped in February as gas prices soared. With this, on the Discover US Spending Monitor economic confidence and spending intentions fell 1 point to 92.1 after two consecutive monthly gains as only 9% of consumers rate the economy as good or excellent. This is down 1 point from January as 54% still rate the economy as poor, up 3 points from January, while 36% say the economy as fair, down 1-point from January.
The light at the end of the tunnel is there for the 31% disclosing sentiments the economy is improving, but this is still down 2 points from January thanks to the 44% insisting economic conditions are getting worse, which is 4 points higher than last month’s Monitor-low of 40%.
Despite all this, discretionary spending intentions rose in February and 25% expect to spend more in March, a 2-point rise from January. Moreover, 49% expect to spend the same or more in the next month on going out to dinner, movies or sporting events, up 3 points from last month; 49% plan to spend the same or more next month on home improvement purchases, up 3 points from January; and 52% expect to spend the same or more on a vacation or health club membership, up 2 points from January.
Although improving, late payments are continuing to negatively impact consumer and business credit reports across the country. This is reflective in the 39% of American invoices paid late over the past 6 months, which is in conjunction with consumer monthly payment rates having just posted negative numbers month-over-month to now stand at 13.11% in August from 12.86% in July, but an improvement from the year ago figure of 16.96%. These findings, according to CardData.com and the “Payment Practices Barometer” global report, also show this seriously disrupts cashflow. This subsequently required 48% of companies left waiting for payments to conduct corrective measures to manage internal cash flow. Additional findings show 52% of U.S. consumers asked for extended payment terms over the last six months; 48% had delayed payment without prior agreement; and average domestic payment term was 28 days.
MONTHLY PAYMENT RATE
Jul 09: 17.12%
Aug 09: 16.96%
Sep 09: 16.59%
Oct 09: 17.77%
Nov 09: 17.66%
Dec 09: 17.23%
Jan 10: 17.15%
Feb 10: 15.95%
Mar 10: 18.79%
Apr 10: 14.61%
May 10: 13.96%
Jun 10: 14.22%
Jul 10: 12.86%
Aug 10: 13.11%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
Among Northeasterners, 43% see the economy already having hit bottom while 53% say there is still a ways to go. This compared to the 36% of Americans nationwide who feel we have hit bottom and the 59% who believe the country has a ways to go. This, according to a nationwide survey issued by Citi and conducted by Hart Research, reflects the 62% of northeastern investors with more than $100,000 of investible asset whom believe the investment climate is better than it was a year ago while only 32% think it is worse than a year ago. This compared to the only 50% of investors nationally who feel the investment climate is better than a year ago while 41% think its worse. Additional findings show 77% in the Northeast are somewhat (63%) or very (14%) optimistic the investment climate will get better compared to 62%, 52% and 10%, respectively; 65% of Northeasterners ages 18-39 say things will get better compared to 57% over 40; and 60% believe that this is only a fair (28%) or poor (32%) time to make a major household purchase, compares to the national average of 61%, 27% and 34%, respectively.
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.
Among entrepreneurs, 55% are optimistic on near-term business prospects while 26% have disclosed expanding opportunities for their business, up from 45% in March 2009 and up from 15% a year ago, respectively. However, 63% do not think the worst of the economic downturn is over and 17% are at risk of going out of business in the next six months. These findings, according to 763 small business owners with fewer than 100 employees surveyed in accordance with the American Express “OPEN Small Business Monitor” survey, also show 13% disclosed the growth mindset can be attributed to the general ease to renegotiate equipment leases and supply contracts while 12% credit lower real estate costs and 32% are utilizing personal or private funds to address cash flow problems. The optimism is not, however, contributing to employment market with only 23% planning to hire this fall compared to the 26% level in the fall 2002 recession.
A new survey shows that 26% of small business owners report expanding
opportunities for their business, up from 15% from a year ago, but 63%
do not think the worst of the U.S. economic woes are over, and 17% say
they risk going out of business in the next six months because of the
economy. According to the American Express “OPEN Small Business
Monitor,” a semi-annual survey of business owners, found that business
owners continue to do everything they can to protect their employees.
For example, 35% of small business owners have tapped personal assets as
a result of the recession, 27% have stopped taking a salary and 17% are
working a second job, comparable to six months ago. At the same time,
fewer business owners are laying people off (15%, down from 23% in the
spring) or cutting benefits (8%, versus 16% this spring). Looking beyond
the basic issue of cash flow, nearly half of entrepreneurs (45%) are
looking to access capital from external sources in order to run their
businesses. One out of five business owners (19%) say they are
experiencing difficulty accessing capital. To secure the funds they
need, business owners are tapping a variety of sources, including using
a bank loan (14%), using business or personal credit cards (each 13%),
tapping personal savings (10%), borrowing from a friend or family member
(3%), and private equity/venture capital or home equity (each 2%).
More evidence mounts that American workers see glimmers of hope that the economy is headed in a more positive direction. More than one-third of workers and 31% of retirees expect the current economic crisis to be better by the end of 2009. According to the Principal Financial “Well-Being Index,” 41% of workers say it will take only two to five years to recover the retirement balances they had at the beginning of January 2008. While 15% think it will take six to 10 years, only 3% of workers think they will never recover their account balance.
Principal also found that 48% of workers and 42% of retirees say they paid more often with cash than with credit cards in the past six months.
Other changes: half of retirees and six of 10 workers are preparing more meals at home instead of eating out; three of 10 workers indicate they have started bringing their lunch to work; and more than a quarter of both retirees and workers have started to “shop” in their own closets instead of making new purchases. Thirteen percent of workers said they are delaying their planned retirement date because of current economic conditions, an increase from 10 percent of workers in first quarter of this year.
Loyalty marketer Vesdia Corporation has been chosen by SunTrust Banks to help
enhance the bankâs debit and credit card loyalty programs through
Vesdiaâs merchant network and partnership marketing services.
The enhanced SunTrust rewards program will provide cardholders with
additional rewards-earning opportunities with thousands of leading
national and local retailers. In addition to earning SunPoints on
transactions, cardholders will be able to take advantage of bonus
SunPoints, discounts and special offer opportunities with more than
150,000 brick and mortar locations, service providers, catalogs and gift
cards, and more than 750 online retailers. The partnership also offers merchants unique marketing benefits. Through
targeted promotions to SunTrust cardholders and more than 30 million
consumers in Vesdia managed loyalty programs, participating merchants
gain access to new customers while driving increased basket size and
repeat purchases from existing customers. SunTrust had total assets of $177.4 billion and total deposits of $119.8
billion as of June 30, 2008.