American Express Survey Finds Consumer Confidence Rising

Career optimism among young American professionals continues to grow, according to a new study commissioned by American Express. The latest edition of the monthly American Express Spending & Saving Tracker found that over a third of young professionals surveyed reported feeling "more stable" in their current jobs now than during the same time last year. When asked the same question, less than half of respondents from the "general population" sampled for the survey reported the same level of confidence.

Consumer confidence directly affects credit card spending, according to the survey's results. Dining and travel expenses topped the categories with the largest spending increases, with fewer respondents indicating they would spend more on real estate or stock market investments. When asked to give some of the reasons behind their confidence, respondents cited company bonus payouts, lifted salary freezes, and fewer layoffs as signs of stronger corporate health. Nearly three out of four respondents told researchers that their backup plans for unexpected job loss would help them ride out the recession, increasing their consumer confidence even more.