A Mostly Optimistic Outlook


NUMEROLOGY

majority of U.S. consumers think things are looking up for 2006. The Experian-Gallup Personal Credit Index says fully 68% are optimistic about their financial situation this year, including 30% who are “very” optimistic.

Americans have a variety of reasons for thinking 2006 will be a good year:

57% of those who are employed expect to earn more money in 2006 than they did in 2005. Only 6% expect a decline in pay.

30% of workers anticipate a promotion in the coming year.

50% of consumers plan to make home improvements in 2006.

38% anticipate paying off their debt.

36% hope to earn a higher credit score.

21% plan to buy a new car.

19% will go back to school.

But all of the news isn’t good. Some 14% of consumers who have a credit card pay only the minimum amount each month, up from 7% last year. And 26% say they are uncomfortable with their current debt level, which averages $4,072.

NEWS

IRS sets start date for tax season

The IRS announced that tax season will start in late January and that it will issue refunds to taxpayers despite the partial shutdown of the federal government.

PODCAST

Why CPAs can’t wait on automation tools

What do accounting firms waiting on others to develop AI, automation, and data analytics tools have in common with a baseball fan sitting in a stadium filling with water at an exponential rate? The answer could determine your firm’s fate.