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Wealth in America Survey

Wealth in America Survey

On the eve of the holiday season, the CNBC/Portfolio.com finds Americans painting a deeply grim picture of the current state of the economy with bleak implications for holiday spending. Here, we break down the data from that , looking at, among other things, whether men or women are more pessimistic about the economy, which parts of the country are cutting back most, and whether Democrats or Republicans are most optimistic about the coming year.
Graphic: CNBC.com

Posted on 12 Dec 2008

On the eve of the holiday season, the CNBC/Portfolio.com Wealth in America Survey finds Americans painting a deeply grim picture of the current state of the economy with bleak implications for holiday spending.

Here, we break down the data from that survey, looking at, among other things, whether men or women are more pessimistic about the economy, which parts of the country are cutting back most, and whether Democrats or Republicans are most optimistic about the coming year.

Wealth in America Survey

Young people are more bullish than older people about wage growth:54% believe they will get an increase in wages next yearAverage wage increase expected is 5.4%Median wage increase expected is 0.9%40% believe they will get an increase in wages next yearAverage wage increase expected is 4.2%Median wage change expected is a decline of -0.6%31% believe they will get an increase in wages next yearAverage wage increase expected is 1.0%Median wage change expected is a decline of -1.0%

Young people are more bullish than older people about wage growth:

Age 18-34:
54% believe they will get an increase in wages next year
Average wage increase expected is 5.4%
Median wage increase expected is 0.9%

Age 35-49:
40% believe they will get an increase in wages next year
Average wage increase expected is 4.2%
Median wage change expected is a decline of -0.6%

Age 50-64:
31% believe they will get an increase in wages next year
Average wage increase expected is 1.0%
Median wage change expected is a decline of -1.0%

Wealth in America Survey

Professionals / Executives are more pessimistic about the economy than their employees:60% are pessimistic about the economy now and for the future31% are pessimistic about the economy now and but optimistic about the future47% are pessimistic about the economy now and for the future44% are pessimistic about the economy now and but optimistic about the future52% are pessimistic about the economy now and for the future39% are pessimistic about the economy now and but optimistic about the future

Professionals / Executives are more pessimistic about the economy than their employees:

Professionals / Executives:
60% are pessimistic about the economy now and for the future
31% are pessimistic about the economy now and but optimistic about the future

White-collar employees:
47% are pessimistic about the economy now and for the future
44% are pessimistic about the economy now and but optimistic about the future

Blue-collar employees:
52% are pessimistic about the economy now and for the future
39% are pessimistic about the economy now and but optimistic about the future

Wealth in America Survey

Average holiday shopping budgets vary by region but Northeastern farmers appear to be the most generous:Nationally, the average respondent plans to spend $704The Northeast has the highest average planned spend at $1,054The Midwest has the lowest average planned spend at $517The average for the South is $628The average for the West is $650Small town / Rural respondents plan to spend an average of $939 while suburbanites plan to spend an average of $689.  Urban shoppers plan to spen $761 on averag

Average holiday shopping budgets vary by region but Northeastern farmers appear to be the most generous:

Nationally, the average respondent plans to spend $704

The Northeast has the highest average planned spend at $1,054

The Midwest has the lowest average planned spend at $517

The average for the South is $628

The average for the West is $650

Small town / Rural respondents plan to spend an average of $939 while suburbanites plan to spend an average of $689. 

Urban shoppers plan to spen $761 on average.

Wealth in America Survey

While the divide in holiday spend is also driven by wage level, the more affluent do not spend extensively more than middle income respondents:Avg spend for those making $30-50K per year: Avg spend for those making $50-75K per year: Avg spend for those making $75-100K per year: Avg spend for those making over $100K per year:

While the divide in holiday spend is also driven by wage level, the more affluent do not spend extensively more than middle income respondents:

Avg spend for those making $30-50K per year: $457

Avg spend for those making $50-75K per year: $1,084

Avg spend for those making $75-100K per year: $1,058

Avg spend for those making over $100K per year: $1,206

Wealth in America Survey

Very few consumers cite lack of access to credit as a reason for why they plan to spend less this holiday season:Will spend less due to inflation: Will spend less to save more: Will spend less due all the talk about the economy: Will spend less due to uncertainty about the future: Will spend less due to loss / risk of loss of jobs: Will spend less due to having trouble paying current bills: Will spend less due to lack of access to credit: (max is people in Midwest or people earning $50-75K, bot

Very few consumers cite lack of access to credit as a reason for why they plan to spend less this holiday season:

Will spend less due to inflation: 26%

Will spend less to save more: 20%

Will spend less due all the talk about the economy: 19%

Will spend less due to uncertainty about the future: 17%

Will spend less due to loss / risk of loss of jobs: 16%

Will spend less due to having trouble paying current bills: 15%

Will spend less due to lack of access to credit: 1%
(max is people in Midwest or people earning $50-75K, both at 3%)

Wealth in America Survey

Suburbanites are nearly twice as likely to shop online for the holidays:40% at big-box stores like Walmart or Best Buy22% at department stores like Macy's or Sears15% at online retailers 40% at big-box stores like Walmart or Best Buy25% at department stores like Macy's or Sears29% at online retailers 47% at big-box stores like Walmart or Best Buy21% at department stores like Macy's or Sears15% at online retailers

Suburbanites are nearly twice as likely to shop online for the holidays:

Urban
40% at big-box stores like Walmart or Best Buy
22% at department stores like Macy's or Sears
15% at online retailers

Suburban
40% at big-box stores like Walmart or Best Buy
25% at department stores like Macy's or Sears
29% at online retailers

Small-town / Rural
47% at big-box stores like Walmart or Best Buy
21% at department stores like Macy's or Sears
15% at online retailers

Wealth in America Survey

Suburbanites are the most likely to take as much as 2-3 months to pay off debt from their holiday shopping:49% will not have debt37% 1 month or less4% two to three months49% will not have debt34% 1 month or less10% two to three months50% will not have debt37% 1 month or less6% two to three months

Suburbanites are the most likely to take as much as 2-3 months to pay off debt from their holiday shopping:

Urban:
49% will not have debt
37% 1 month or less
4% two to three months

Suburban:
49% will not have debt
34% 1 month or less
10% two to three months

Small-town / Rural:
50% will not have debt
37% 1 month or less
6% two to three months

Wealth in America Survey

Republicans are more satisfied with their personal financial situation while Democrats are more optimistic about the economy next year:64% believe their personal financial situation is excellent or good32% believe the economy will get better next year24% believe Barack Obama will make the economy better16% believe Barack Obama will make the cost of healthcare better14% believe Barack Obama will make the level of government spending better47% believe their personal financial situation is excellen

Republicans are more satisfied with their personal financial situation while Democrats are more optimistic about the economy next year:

Republicans:
64% believe their personal financial situation is excellent or good
32% believe the economy will get better next year
24% believe Barack Obama will make the economy better
16% believe Barack Obama will make the cost of healthcare better
14% believe Barack Obama will make the level of government spending better

Democrats:
47% believe their personal financial situation is excellent or good
45% believe the economy will get better next year
78% believe Barack Obama will make the economy better
52% believe Barack Obama will make the cost of healthcare better
45% believe Barack Obama will make the level of government spending better

Wealth in America Survey

People with investments of over $50K are more likely to believe it is a good time to invest, while others do not.55% believe it is a good time to invest40% believe it is a bad time to invest44% believe it is a good time to invest51% believe it is a bad time to invest23% believe it is a good time to invest62% believe it is a bad time to invest

People with investments of over $50K are more likely to believe it is a good time to invest, while others do not.

Investments over $50K:
55% believe it is a good time to invest
40% believe it is a bad time to invest

Investments under $50K:
44% believe it is a good time to invest
51% believe it is a bad time to invest

No Investments:
23% believe it is a good time to invest
62% believe it is a bad time to invest

Wealth in America Survey

People believe we are in a serious recession, but not a depression.  Young people are more optimistic."Economic Slowdown"  8%"Mild Recession"   29%"Serious Recession"  51%"Depression"   29%"Economic Slowdown"  13%"Mild Recession"   37%"Serious Recession"  42%"Depression"   6%

People believe we are in a serious recession, but not a depression.  Young people are more optimistic.

Total population:
"Economic Slowdown"  8%
"Mild Recession"   29%
"Serious Recession"  51%
"Depression"   29%

Ages 18-34:
"Economic Slowdown"  13%
"Mild Recession"   37%
"Serious Recession"  42%
"Depression"   6%

Wealth in America Survey

One third of people do not trust that their FDIC insured bank accounts are safe.  Parents are the most skeptical.Totally / Mostly confident that their money is safe:   Somewhat / Not confident that their money is safe:   Among people with children, 38% say they're either only somewhat or not confident that their money is safe.
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One third of people do not trust that their FDIC insured bank accounts are safe.  Parents are the most skeptical.

Totally / Mostly confident that their money is safe:   64%

Somewhat / Not confident that their money is safe:   32%

Among people with children, 38% say they're either only somewhat or not confident that their money is safe.