According to Prosper Insights & Analytics, consumer sentiment leapt higher in early December when 54.5% of respondents in the company’s research said they were confident or very confident in the prospects for an improving economy, up from 42.7% in early November.
The December figure surpassed the 13-month average of 45.1% and is the highest December reading in the past 10 years.
The proportion of survey respondents who said they were focused on things they need rather than what they want fell to 37.7% from 41.7% in December from November, Prosper noted, as did the proportion of people who said they had become more practical in their purchasing, slipping to 33.8% from 37.9% in the month earlier.
Of course, election concerns and stock market reactions loomed over holiday spending prospects in early November. In Prosper’s December study, given the post-election environment, 8.7% of consumers said they would spend more on holiday gifts than they had initially planned but 7.3% said they would spend less. The largest proportion of respondents, 84%, said their purchasing plans had not changed, Prosper pointed out.
Men and affluent households are the groups that have the highest holiday spending expectations post elections. Younger consumers also plan to spend relatively generously compared to older Millennials and younger GenXers, Prosper reported.