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Women See Brighter Financial Future Than Men: Survey

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Women are more optimistic than men about their economic futures according to a new nationwide survey released Thursday by Citi, and conducted by Hart Research Associates.

While the survey found a widening divide between men’s and women’s outlooks for the next 12 months, optimism for the future was found to have declined overall, with women’s outlooks holding almost steady and men having turned increasingly sour since March.

The survey also found that while current assessments of local economic conditions have improved slightly since March, up 3 points for men (24 percent) and 4 points for women (23 percent), only 50 percent of men believe that the business conditions where they live will get somewhat or much better in the next 12 months, compared with 56 percent of women who believe that business conditions will get somewhat or much better.

For men this represents an eight-point decline from three months ago when 58 percent of men thought conditions would improve, but just a three-point decline for women from 59 percent in March.

Additional findings:

  • Today, 62 percent of men are somewhat (47 percent) or very (15 percent) optimistic that their own financial situation will get better over the next twelve months, a four point decline since March.
  • While the percentage of women who are somewhat (47 percent) or very (19 percent) optimistic remains unchanged at 66 percent since March, the percentage of women who are very optimistic has risen to 19 percent, up four points since March.
  • 65 percent of women and 60 percent of men believe we still have a ways to go before the economy hits bottom. Only 30 percent of women and 35 percent of men believe we have already hit bottom.
  • 63 percent of women and 61 percent of men believe it will be at least two or three years, if not longer, before the economy stabilizes for their household. This includes nearly a third (31 percent) of women and a full quarter of men (25 percent) who believe it will take four or more years before the economy stabilizes for their household.
  • Of those surveyed, health expenses were of greatest concern for women (12 percent) followed closely by credit cards (10 percent), mortgage debt (5 percent) and student loans (5 percent).
  • Women in households making less than $50,000 annually and those earning $50,000 to $100,000 annually struggle the most with health expenses and credit card debt. Although nearly 1 in 10 (9 percent) middle income women (earning $50,000 to $100,000 annually) report credit card debt is a major problem or becoming unmanageable. Women earning more than $100,000 annually report struggling most with credit card debt (6 percent) and student loans (5 percent).

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