Princeton Capital Blog

Consumer Confidence Is Rising

May 18th, 2012

Consumer confidence at the end of March reached the second-highest level in four years.

Lower interest rates on mortgages and credit cards were one reason for the more positive view. According to a USA Today analysis, American households paid an average of $8,731 for mortgage interest in 2007. For 2011, the average interest was $5,633.

Low interest rates mean more cash in your pocket.

Three-fourths of the interest savings were from falling interest rates, the rest were from debt reduction.

For the three-week period ending on March 25, The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index showed more than 30 percent of households said they had a favorable view of the buying climate. It was the longest stretch since early 2008.

The economic gain for borrowers is greater than other stimulus efforts or even high gas prices. A cut in the Social Security payroll tax, for example, saves households an average of about $70 a month.

Job and income growth are providing consumers with the means to withstand higher fuel costs and are the basis for sales of cars and other expensive items. Economists at the National Automobile Association say even if people aren’t paying attention to their falling interest rates, the money builds up in their checking accounts and especially benefits big-ticket items like cars.

The favorable reduction in household debt shows that many responsible Americans are using the extra cash to pay down credit card balances, which is always a wise move.

Consumer spending is a big factor in U.S. economic growth, so if you need a car or a fridge and can afford it, you’ll perk the economy if you go ahead and buy it.

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