US consumers feel better about their financial situation than they did a year ago, but they’re still hesitant to spend too much.
Compared with the rest of the world, Americans are feeling pretty good about their finances.
While many consumers in other countries are living paycheck to paycheck and worrying about becoming unemployed, American consumers are comparatively unconcerned about their household’s financial future.
This isn’t to say that US consumers are exuding confidence: financial-market volatility and the political uncertainty surrounding the upcoming presidential election are stoking fears of another downturn.
Still, most Americans are staying loyal to their favorite brands instead of downgrading to cheaper options, and some are even splurging on certain types of purchases.
Whereas in our 2014 survey 40 percent of Americans said they were living paycheck to paycheck, only 28 percent made that claim in 2015. Only 23 percent of survey respondents, down from a high of 48 percent in 2009, said they are finding it harder to make ends meet than they did a year ago. Most Americans—65 percent—expressed no concern about losing their job. In general, fewer American consumers are feeling economic pressure today than at any time since 2008 (Exhibit 1).Exhibit 1But it’s still no bed of roses. Only 20 percent of Americans exp