U.S. Spending Monitor Fell in September

The Discover U.S. Spending Monitor weakened in Sept. according to Discover Financial Services.

More consumers reported having less money left over after paying debts in Sept. than the month earlier. The survey also found that 71.7 percent of consumers plan on spending at least as much or more next month.

The survey, conducted by Rasmussen Reports, queries about 8,000 adult consumers about spending intentions. It has a margin of error of plus or minus one percent.

===========================================================================
                    Sept.   Aug.   July   June    May  April  March   Feb.
                     2011   2011   2011   2011   2011   2011   2011   2011
===========================================================================
Monitor              77.0   80.5   82.7   85.1   89.5   89.4   89.5   92.1
Spending Index       85.5   88.5   89.4   90.4   91.9   92.3   91.8   91.0
Economic index       66.5   70.6   74.2   78.5   86.5   85.7   86.7   93.5
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

===========================================================================
                    Sept.   Aug.   July   June    May  April  March   Feb.
                     2011   2011   2011   2011   2011   2011   2011   2011
===========================================================================
                   ----------- Rate US Economy -----------
Excellent            2.9%   3.3%   2.7%   2.2%   2.9%   3.0%   2.8%   1.8%
Good                 4.1%   4.7%   4.2%   5.2%   7.4%   6.5%   7.4%   7.2%
Fair                25.3%  26.5%  29.7%  31.0%  31.6%  34.4%  34.9%  36.1%
Poor                66.2%  63.9%  62.3%  60.5%  56.9%  55.0%  53.1%  53.6%
Not sure             1.5%   1.6%   1.2%   1.0%   1.2%   1.1%   1.8%   1.3%
Index                37.9   40.9   41.3   43.5   49.5   50.6   53.1   51.4

                   ------- Economy Better or Worse -------
Better              12.1%  13.3%  18.9%  21.3%  25.9%  25.7%  24.8%  30.5%
Worse               63.0%  63.5%  58.7%  55.6%  50.7%  51.3%  50.9%  44.0%
Staying the same    19.5%  18.9%  18.0%  18.1%  19.6%  18.2%  20.1%  20.5%
Not sure             5.3%   4.2%   4.4%   4.9%   3.8%   4.8%   4.2%   4.9%
Index                81.7   82.9  100.3  109.2  125.1  123.7  122.9  143.8

===========================================================================
                    Sept.   Aug.   July   June    May  April  March   Feb.
                     2011   2011   2011   2011   2011   2011   2011   2011
===========================================================================
                   -------- Rate Personal Finances -------
Excellent            6.1%   7.2%   6.6%   6.8%   7.7%   7.5%   7.6%   8.3%
Good                22.4%  26.2%  23.3%  24.6%  26.7%  26.4%  24.8%  26.5%
Fair                41.0%  39.4%  43.2%  41.4%  40.2%  39.0%  42.0%  39.9%
Poor                27.5%  24.6%  24.4%  24.7%  23.4%  24.7%  23.6%  23.5%
Not sure             2.9%   2.7%   2.6%   2.4%   2.1%   2.4%   1.9%   1.9%
Index                82.5   88.9   86.1   87.2   90.7   89.2   88.8   90.9

                   -- Personal Finances Better or Worse --
Better              14.9%  15.9%  16.3%  18.1%  21.3%  20.6%  22.2%  23.7%
Worse               57.3%  53.0%  54.1%  51.3%  48.3%  49.2%  48.4%  44.6%
Staying the same    25.6%  28.9%  27.1%  28.5%  28.1%  28.2%  27.4%  29.4%
Not sure             2.2%   2.2%   2.5%   2.0%   2.3%   2.1%   2.0%   2.3%
Index                63.8   69.7   69.0   74.0   80.9   79.1   81.9   87.6

===========================================================================
                    Sept.   Aug.   July   June    May  April  March   Feb.
                     2011   2011   2011   2011   2011   2011   2011   2011
===========================================================================
                   --- Spending Compared to Last Month ---
More                35.5%  35.5%  40.9%  40.0%  44.4%  42.6%  41.1%  31.5%
Less                24.3%  22.1%  19.3%  17.9%  17.7%  18.4%  17.8%  22.4%
About the same      38.9%  40.8%  38.0%  40.8%  36.4%  37.5%  39.5%  44.6%
Not sure             1.3%   1.6%   1.7%   1.3%   1.5%   1.4%   1.5%   1.4%
Index                83.6   85.2   91.4   91.8   95.3   93.4   92.7   82.1

                   --------- Spending Next Month ---------
More                25.7%  25.9%  30.6%  30.5%  34.6%  36.7%  32.8%  24.8%
Less                25.6%  22.5%  19.0%  17.0%  17.9%  16.7%  17.7%  18.9%
About the same      46.0%  49.4%  47.4%  50.2%  45.2%  44.1%  47.3%  54.4%
Not sure             2.7%   2.2%   3.0%   2.3%   2.3%   2.5%   2.2%   1.9%
Index                78.8   81.4   87.9   89.3   91.8   94.4   90.5   83.4

===========================================================================
                    Sept.   Aug.   July   June    May  April  March   Feb.
                     2011   2011   2011   2011   2011   2011   2011   2011
===========================================================================
                   -Added Expenses or Shortfall in Income-
                         Expected in the next 30 days
Yes                 42.4%  40.6%  41.8%  42.4%  40.9%  41.2%  42.1%  36.0%
No                  43.4%  45.0%  42.5%  42.3%  44.4%  45.2%  44.1%  50.5%
Not sure            14.1%  14.4%  15.7%  15.2%  14.7%  13.6%  13.9%  13.5%
Index                90.6   93.6   90.2   89.6   92.8   93.2   91.4  102.6

                   ---- Money Left After Paying Debts ----
Yes                 42.8%  47.3%  44.6%  47.0%  45.7%  47.1%  47.9%  48.0%
No                  44.1%  40.3%  42.3%  39.7%  42.4%  39.9%  39.2%  40.5%
Not sure            13.1%  12.4%  13.1%  13.3%  11.9%  13.0%  12.8%  11.5%
Index                81.2   87.9   84.1   88.1   84.9   88.1   89.3   88.3

                   -Money Left Over Compared to Last Month-
More                12.0%   9.4%  10.8%  10.6%   8.6%   9.0%  11.9%  13.0%
Less                24.1%  22.6%  24.9%  22.5%  25.9%  27.0%  26.7%  21.6%
About the same      62.8%  67.2%  63.8%  65.4%  64.4%  63.4%  60.4%  65.2%
===========================================================================
                    Sept.   Aug.   July   June    May  April  March   Feb.
                     2011   2011   2011   2011   2011   2011   2011   2011
===========================================================================
Not sure             1.1%  80.0%   0.5%   1.5%   1.1%   0.7%   1.0%  30.0%
Index                98.4   93.8   97.2   97.9   95.5   94.9   96.4   99.5

                   - Months You Could Continue Lifestyle -
                          if Sudden Loss of Income
None                27.8%  27.5%  27.3%  26.6%  27.1%  27.3%  27.8%  27.0%
One month           17.7%  18.2%  17.6%  18.1%  18.0%  18.7%  17.3%  16.7%
Two months          10.3%  10.4%  10.7%  11.2%  11.1%   9.0%   9.3%  11.6%
Three months        11.2%   9.6%  10.0%  10.2%   9.7%  10.0%  10.3%   9.0%
Four months          3.2%   3.7%   3.8%   3.8%   4.4%   4.5%   3.6%   4.6%
Five months          3.3%   2.8%   2.7%   3.1%   2.0%   3.4%   2.5%   2.6%
Six months or more  21.6%  22.8%  21.3%  20.8%  22.5%  21.6%  22.6%  24.1%
Not sure             5.0%   4.8%   6.7%   6.0%   5.3%   5.5%   6.5%   4.5%
Index                93.2   94.4   93.6   93.2   94.8   92.6   81.7   98.6
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SOURCE: Discover Financial Services

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Tanzi in Washington at atanzi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Marco Babic at mbabic@bloomberg.net

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