Americans are more likely than last year to believe the economy will stay the same and are making plans to save more and spend less, according to a Harris Interactive poll.
Harris, which released its survey on Monday, polled slightly more than 2,100 adults online between Dec. 11 and Dec. 17.
Forty-two percent said the economy will stay the same (up 11 percentage points from December 2012), 32 percent said the economy will worsen (down four points), and 27 percent said the economy will improve (down six points). Democrats were almost four times as likely as Republicans to believe the economy will improve (46 percent of Democrats versus 12 percent of Republicans).
The survey respondents were asked about their financial resolutions for 2014 and whether or not they followed through on financial plans in 2013.
The majority of respondents said they both planned and followed through with financial plans, which include such things as cutting back on household spending (49 percent), paying down debt (41 percent), improving the value of their home (22 percent), and reducing the number of credit cards they use (19 percent).
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In 2014, 45 percent of the respondents say they would cut back on household spending, and 40 percent said they plan to pay down their debt and save more. Twenty-three percent plan to save for retirement and 15 percent plan to throw away one or more credit cards and undertake home improvements to increase the value of their home.
Of course, New Year’s resolutions are easier to plan than do. Of the 45 percent who said they will cut back on household spending, 61 percent intended to do so last year but failed.
According to Harris, these plans are similar to last year’s, though slightly more respondents (three percentage points) plan to save for retirement and save more in general. But Americans seem considerably less likely than five years ago to say they plan to cut back on spending (down 10 points) or get rid of one or more credit cards (down nine points).