Consumer confidence in a strong economy going forward continued its slide in early February when a Prosper Insights and Analytics survey pegged it down two points from a similar study in early January, with the proportion of consumers looking forward to good financial news at 50.1%.
In all, since peaking in December, consumer confidence has fallen about five points although February’s figure remains up from that of a year ago, 42%, and above the 13-month average of 46.1%.
Older consumers have expressed more confidence in the economic future since the November elections, Prosper pointed out, while Millennials have become more pessimistic. In February 39.4% of consumers said they had become more practical in their purchasing, up from 35.8% a year earlier and 37.2% from January. Meantime, 45.1% of consumers said they were focused more on what they need when shopping rather than what they want, up from 41.7% in February of last year and 42.8% from January.
As for personal finances, consumers are more interested in paying down debt, increasing savings and decreasing spending than they were last month or in February 2016.