As one year draws to a close and another begins anew, it’s time for Americans to plan out the year to come. What financial resolutions might they be making? And what sort of economic changes do they expect 2014 to bring for the nation as a whole?
A recent Harris Poll finds the pessimistic outlook that the economy will get worse (32%) slightly overshadowing the belief that it will improve (27%), though the most prevalent opinion is that the economy will stay the same (42%).
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,311 U.S. adults surveyed online between Dec. 11 and 17, 2013 by Harris Interactive. Results were announced today, Jan. 6.
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It is noteworthy that Americans are more likely than last year to believe the economy will stay the same (up 11 percentage points from December 2012), while drops are apparent both for the belief that the economy will improve (down 6 points) and that it will get worse (down 4 points).
Americans show deep divisions on this issue by political party, with Democrats nearly four times as likely as Republicans to believe that the economy will improve (46% Democrats, 12% Republicans) and the inverse true for the perception that it will get worse (47% Republicans, 13% Democrats).
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Both parties, as well as Independents, are equally likely to ascribe to the belief that it will stay the same (41% each).
Nearly half of Americans (45%) say they expect to cut back on household spending in 2014, while four in ten each plan on paying down their level of debt and saving more (40% each).
Nearly one-fourth (23%) plan on saving more for retirement and 15% each plan on getting rid of one or more credit cards and undertaking home improvements that increase the value of their home.
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Financial plans for the coming year are similar to those seen a year ago, though there has been slight growth in planned saving, with stated intentions to save more in general and save more for retirement both up three percentage points.
Photo courtesy: White House / www.whitehouse.gov