Credit union members’ outlook on the U.S. economy improved in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the latest Discover U.S. Spending Monitor, a monthly consumer survey conducted by banking and payment services giant Discover Financial Services.
Based on Discover’s survey results, 10% of credit union members rated the U.S. economy as “good” or “excellent” in January 2012, while in October 2011, just 5% of CU members gave the economy the same rating.
Additionally, the percentage of credit union members who rated the U.S. economy as “poor” dropped from 69% in October 2011 to 53% in January 2012, the survey revealed.
The percentage of CU member survey respondents who say U.S. economic conditions are improving increased from 13% to 34% during the quarter, while the percentage of those who think the economy is getting worse declined from 59% to 42%.
Non-CU members’ attitudes toward the economy’s improvement showed less of a change, according to the survey. From October 2011 to January 2012, the percentage of non-CU members who feel the economy is improving increased from 15% to 26%, and those who believe the economy is worsening decreased from 64% to 50%.
Discover also reported an upswing in personal financial confidence among CU members, with 29% of CU members stating their personal finances are improving, compared to non-CU members’ 20%. CU members also surpassed non-CU members when asked about their intentions to spend more, as well as save and invest more, Discover said.
“With an improving outlook on the economy and their personal finances, credit union members are likely to keep their discretionary spending intentions the same or increase them in the month ahead compared to what was reported last October,” Discover said. “Non-credit union members are also planning to increase or keep their spending intentions the same in the month ahead though not at the percentages of their credit union counterparts.”
The Discover U.S. Spending Monitor surveys more than 8,200 consumers each month, including an average of 2,500 credit union members.