A Mostly Optimistic Outlook


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.


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