According to the RBC U.S. Consumer Outlook Index released Thursday, July 15, financial services reform is already having an impact on the confidence of consumers familiar with the legislation, which the Senate passed Thursday. While two thirds of Americans–those who say they are not well versed in its provisions–are not confident enough to offer an opinion, four out of ten respondents who consider themselves informed on the subject expect the final bill to have a positive impact on both the economy (41%) and the stability of the U.S. financial system (42%).
While there are worries that the measures will have a negative effect on Wall Street’s profits (41%), 30% feel that the opposite will occur. Feelings also run slightly stronger that they will negatively, rather than positively, affect Main Street, though the margin is smaller (36% vs. 31%). And 29% expect a negative effect on their own spending habits, compared with 26% who feel the outcome will affect them positively.
Marc Harris, co-head of Global Research at RBC Capital Markets, theorizes in the outlook that perhaps they have not yet assimilated the potential effects of the bill on their own wallets. He adds, “Americans are very cautious about making any changes in their own spending habits as they continue to expect a bumpy, drawn-out recovery.”