RIVERWOODS, Ill. (11/16/12)--Credit union members are more confident in the economy and their personal finances than consumers who don't belong to credit unions, according to data released Thursday from the credit union member demographic of the Discover U.S. Spending Monitor.
Credit union members are also more optimistic than they were at this time last year, said the study.
Credit union members rated the economy more favorably than non-credit union members, though both groups were more positive than last year. Other findings include:
- In October, 19% of credit union members surveyed rated the economy as "excellent" or "good," a 14-point improvement from the same period last year. By comparison, 16% of non-credit union members rated the economy as "excellent" or "good," a nine-point increase year-over-year.
- The number of credit union members that rate the economy as "poor" fell 21 points in October, compared with the same period last year, versus a 16-point decrease for non-credit union members.
- Credit union members who expect the economy to get "better" increased 25 points in October 2012 to 38% , versus the same time last year.
Credit union members rate their personal finances higher than last year, similar to non-credit union members. Survey findings include:
- Credit union members rating their personal finances as "excellent" or "good" increased eight points to 41% in October from 32% in October 2011. Non-members increased seven points during the same time last year to 35% from 28%.
- The number of credit union members who believe their personal finances are getting "better" increased 13 points year-over-year, to 30% (versus a 12-point increase to 27% for non-members). Members who believe their finances are getting "worse" declined seven points to 46%, during the same time.
- More than half (55%) of members survyed expect to have money left after paying bills, while 50% of non-credit union members reported the same this month.
Spending intentions varied by category for credit union members. Overall intentions to spend more next month increased members to 31% in October from 24% in October 2011.
Other findings included:
- Intent to spend more on household expenses next month rose seven points to 46% in October. This also is an eight-point increase quarterly, from 38% in July.
- Credit union members' intentions to spend less on household improvements dropped two points to 48% from the same time last year; however, this is a seven-point increase from last quarter.
- Also, intentions to spend more on discretionary entertainment (up four points to 10%) and major personal purchases (up 1 point to 12%) were up year-over-year in October 2012, but down when compared to last quarter (two points and five points, respectively).