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The Discover U.S. spending monitor is a monthly survey conducted by Discover which tracks consumer spending intentions and confidence. Discover conducts this poll throughout the month by polling 500 consumers daily. This provides a fairly large sample size and a margin of error of around plus or minus one percentage point.
Yesterday Discover released the results of last month’s poll, which are fairly troubling and could be an early indication of weak holiday sales. The majority of people polled were pessimistic about the economy and their own finances, 59% of consumers polled rated the economy as “poor”. Only 26.8% said that they think economic conditions are getting better.
An astounding 64.7% of people surveyed said that they would be spending less on holiday gifts this year.
What’s really scary to me however is that 49% of the consumers polled said that their own finances are getting worse. This is up by 3 points since October. You would think with the stock market on the rise (I still think the dow is going to be very close to hitting 11,000 this month) that consumer confidence would be on the rise as well. However perhaps consumer confidence is more closely tied to unemployment rates, which are still in the tank.
You can download the the complete November data here (PDF).