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.

SPONSORED QUIZ

How well do you know small business?

There are over 30 million small businesses in the U.S., and many of them are optimistic in their outlook. Are you familiar with the obstacles and opportunities they are facing? Test your small business acumen with this quiz sponsored by Chase Ink®.

SPONSORED REPORT

Tax reform complicates year-end tax planning

Get your clients ready for tax season with these year-end tax planning strategies, which address how to make the most of recent tax law changes, such as the new deduction for qualified business income, the higher standard deduction, and the cap on the deductibility of state and local taxes.