Prosper: November Consumers Wary

Consumer sentiment remained unchanged in early November from early October, according to Prosper Insights & Analytics, with 42.7% of consumers saying they were confident or very confident in the prospects for the economy.

The current results are after the confidence figure fell from 46.1% in the monthly Prosper survey as conducted at the beginning of September.

The October figure is below the 13-month average of 44.5% and the figure for the month last year, 47.5%. More consumers, at 41.7%, are focused on needs this month than last, but fewer survey respondents, at 37.9%, said they had become more practical in their purchasing versus October, perhaps reflecting holiday buying plans.

Asked about holiday purchasing plans, survey respondents said they plan to spend on average $796 on gifts, decor, cards, food and flowers this year versus $819 in 2015. With self gifting added in, this year’s figure is $936. The self-gifting number is up 4.4% from 2015 but not enough to push the year over year overall spending past the year-earlier total, which was a few dollars higher.

Among the generations, Generation X plans to spend the most money, $46.6 billion, just slightly more than Baby Boomers and considerably more than younger Millenials or senior Silents.