What do Americans expect their personal financial situation to look like in six months? According to the latest data from ongoing collection by the CivicScience Consumer Financial Health Index (CFHI), consumers ended 2023 feeling increasingly optimistic about the short-term future of their overall financial health. The index reached a weekly score of 66.5%, the highest weekly point in financial outlook since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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As a yearly average, last year marked a significant recovery from the low of 2022, when stimulus payments dwindled, interest rates began rising, inflation and recession concerns took hold, and a growing percentage of Americans reported being financially ‘worse off’ than before the pandemic. While 2022 was a turbulent year of financial adjustment, consumers were feeling much more positive about their financial health in 2023, rising 1.9 points to 62.7%.

What exactly were consumers feeling more optimistic about in 2023? As a living index, the CFHI tracks changing consumer outlook for the next six months by measuring a range of ‘always-on’ questions that span across five key financial areas: debt, income, savings, investing, and credit score.

All five markers increased from November to December, with outlook on savings and investing seeing the biggest boosts. Although consumers expect to have slightly more debt in the coming months, this area saw the least amount of change.

Compared to today, a growing number of consumers expect in six months time to have:

  • More money saved (rising 3.4 points to 65.4%)
  • More in investments, including retirement savings (rising 2.4 points to 61.1%)
  • Better credit score (rising 2.0 points to 70%)
  • Higher income (rising 2.0 points to 66.9%)
  • Less debt (rising 0.8 points to 60.4%)

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Will 2024 be another year of improvement for consumer financial health? Stay with us as we continue to track changing expectations with the Consumer Financial Health Index, used by leading retailers and financial institutions. To learn more about the financial outlook of your brand’s target audiences, get in touch.