Americans Feeling More Financially Secure


As 2010 comes to a close, more Americans feel financially secure than a year ago, an indication the fragile economic recovery is starting to lift consumer sentiment, albeit slowly. Some 42% of Americans feel less financially secure now than they did a year ago, slightly improved from the same time last year where more than half felt unstable, according to a Harris Interactive poll.Consumers, however, remain cautious about the overall success of the economic recovery, with about 29% of the 2,331 adult Americans polled saying they believe the economy will improve in 2011, a number that has slipped from 34% last month. Just 30% gave President Barack Obama a positive rating on the economy. Job market sentiment has not improved, with some 63% of Americans believing the market in their region of the country is bad, and 22% believing it will only get worse heading into the next six months.While only 13% of Americans showed positive views toward their regional job market, roughly 25% said they think it will improve over the next six months.Despite cautiously optimistic views, half of Americans said they plan on cutting back on their household spending in 2011. Of the money spent, roughly 41% of Americans said they will pay down debt, with 40% planning on saving more and 22% putting more toward retirement.Less than one in ten said they will take on less risky investments and refinance their mortgage.Despite the lukewarm outlook, spending this year during the holiday season improved from a year ago as consumers purchased more gifts and took advantage of promotions and discounts by retailers such as Macy’s (NYSE:M), Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).

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