Are Americans more confident now or eight years ago?
According to a study by Northwestern Mutual, the financial state of America is a good news/bad news scenario. The study finds that Americans believe economic stability has improved, yet their conviction in “the American Dream” has declined.
“It appears we’re at a financial flashpoint in America,” Rebekah Barsch, vice president of planning at Northwestern Mutual, said in a statement. “In the near term, people clearly feel a little better about the stability of the U.S. economy. At the same time, there’s a drop in longer-term optimism around the attainability of the American Dream. Combined, it’s a mix of improvement in the moment with uncertainty about the future.”
Northwestern Mutual released its annual Planning & Progress Study, which explores Americans’ attitudes and behaviors toward money, financial decision making, and the broader landscape issues impacting people’s long-term financial security. The 2017 Planning & Progress Study surveyed 2,117 American adults aged 18 or older between Feb. 14 and Feb. 22.
The study finds that people are feeling a bit better about the U.S. economy: 43% of adults surveyed expect the economy to improve this year, which is a considerable jump from the 31% who said the same last year.
In addition, nearly three-quarters (72%) of Americans feel financially secure. And, the study finds, more than a third (38%) expect their financial security to increase in the next year, which is double the number (19%) who expect to feel less secure.
However, the findings weren’t all positive. The study also found Americans have a more “sober long-term outlook.”
Today, less than half (48%) of U.S. adults aged 25-65 say the American Dream is still attainable for most Americans, compared with 58% who said the same in 2009, the first year of the study.