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U.S. spending flat in March, driven by decline in consumer confidence

320px-Cash_RegistersThe Discover U.S. Spending Monitor was flat in March, driven in part by a decline in consumer confidence among consumers ages 18 to 39, though plans to increase spending on major and discretionary purchases grew.

The number of survey respondents who rated the economy as good or excellent fell to 18 percent, while the number of consumers who rated the economy as fair increased to 34 percent. Survey participants ages 18 to 39 who rated the economy as excellent or good fell by five percent to 17 percent, despite a nine percent gain in February. Fifty percent of respondents indicated that they expect the U.S. economy to worsen.

Consumer outlook on personal finances also fell in March, with the number of consumers rating personal finances as excellent or good falling to 35 percent. Consumers whose incomes were more than $75,000 per year showed a more positive outlook on their personal finances than consumer groups making less.

Additionally, the number of respondents who said they are spending more in March than in February increased by two percent to 39 percent, and the number of consumers who plan to spend less in April also increased by two percent to 20 percent. The number of consumers planning to spend more on major purchases increased to 13 percent, and the number of consumers planning to spend more on home improvements increased to 17 percent.

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