Prosper: Consumers Remain Unhappy With Economy

A Prosper Insights & Analytics Consumer Snapshot, based on a survey conducted early this month, demonstrated that consumers aren’t getting a lot more confident in the economy. Only 37.5% said they believe the economy will prove strong or very strong, down slightly from February but up over two and half points from March 2012.

Consumers’ main way of responding to the struggling economy is to spend less overall, with households making under $50,000 per year particularly frugal. Indeed, half of those households said they were cutting back on spending. Watching for sales and dining out less also were major coping mechanisms, with households earning less than $50,000 most likely to say they are following those strategies as well.

According to Proper, three out of four consumers said they are taking measures to deal with issues revolving around government spending and taxes, with one result being a January low in the savings rate at numbers not seen since 2007. In addition, more consumers report that gas prices are having an effect on their spending.