Consumers are getting more confident — but how long could they survive if they lost their jobs?

csg numbersby Dan Rafter

To sell more of their t-shirts, gym shoes, hammers and love seats, chain stores need one thing: consumers who are confident in the economy.

There’s good news on that front from the Chain Store Guide.

The guide’s monthly consumer spending report found that 33.2 percent of adults in April rated the U.S. economy as excellent or good, while 65.5 percent reported it as fair or poor.

Those numbers might not seem so strong. But they are on the rise. The Chain store Guide reported that last April only 21.6 percent of adults rated the economy as excellent or good while 76.3 percent considered it fair or poor.

Interestingly, men have a more favorable view of the economy than do women. According to the guide’s numbers, 9.1 percent of men in April said that the U.S. economy was in excellent shape, while just 3.8 percent of women said the same.

csg numbers2What about on a more personal level? The Chain Store Guide found that 44.3 percent of adults rated their own personal finances as excellent or good in April, while 68 percent ranked them as fair or poor.

A total of 40 percent of adults said that if they lost their incomes today, they could only continue to live their current lifestyle for one to three months, while 21 percent said they could only maintain their lifestyle for less than a month.

Overall, the Chain Store Guide’s U.S. Spending Index jumped 3.5 percent in April when compared to the same month one year earlier. That’s good. It shows that consumers are spending more this year than last.

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