Discover Card Survey Reflects Worsening Economic Mood

Officials from Discover Card revealed this week that their monthly index of consumer sentiment saw only a half point increase in November. The final score of 86.5 indicates continued storm clouds on the economic horizon, with higher income respondents more nervous about the future than other Americans. Two-thirds of respondents rated their personal financial health as "fair" or "poor," with half of the respondents fearing that their condition would grow worse.

Each month, researchers compile the Discover U.S. Spending Monitor report based on responses from 8,200 American adults. Previous months' results pointed at a decline in spending that threatened to dampen retailers' dreams of a green Christmas. However, Discover's November numbers indicate that a drop in planned spending extends beyond seasonal shopping and into everyday purchasing. Roughly half of respondents told researchers that they would spend less money on discretionary goods and activities, such as movies, dining out, and vacations.