Consumers' confidence in the economy grew in August, but spending is still on hold, according to Discover Financial Services.
The Riverwoods, Ill., credit card company's Spending Monitor rose to 87, from 83.5 in July; the index was set at 100 when it was created in 2007. About 31% of consumers surveyed in August said they felt economic conditions were improving, while about 21% said their personal financial conditions were better, the highest percentage since August 2008.
For the third consecutive month, more than half of respondents said they plan to cut discretionary spending the next month. Fifty-two percent said they expect to spend less on dinners, movies or sporting events.
Julie Loeger, Discover's senior vice president of brand and product development, said that despite consumers' rising optimism, "improved economic and financial attitudes have not translated into increased consumer spending, a cause for concern for retailers counting on revenue from back-to-school shopping."