American Express: Consumers Resist Raising Their Debt

DebtThree-quarters of consumers surveyed by American Express say their debt has not increased over the past six months, and more than a third say their debt has decreased.
More Americans say they have been focused on paying down debt (46 percent) than saving (29 percent) this year, American Express found.
And 57 percent of consumers with debt have been moving forward with a specific plan to reduce or stabilize their debt.
July’s American Express “Spending & Saving Tracker” surveyed consumers about their spending and saving trends and intentions midway through 2010, compared to the beginning of the year. Within the survey’s 2,004 U.S. adults, there were two subgroups – the affluent and young professionals.
“An impressive number of consumers say they have decreased their debt over the last six months,” AmEx said.
Here’s the breakdown of those reducing their debt:

  • The majority of affluents (52 percent)
  • Almost half (46 percent) of young professionals
  • More than a third (38 percent) of the general population

Consumers also expressed some intentions of spending money. For example, more than one-quarter (26 percent) of the general population said “that the summer weather specifically encourages more spontaneous spending.”
“It’s encouraging to see that consumers are continuing to balance their spending intentions while remaining committed to maintaining manageable debt levels,” said Pamela Codispoti, American Express senior vice president and general manager, Consumer Card Products.
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