Americans are sanguine about the future, and as a result, they are taking on more debt. Thirty-four percent of Americans feel more confident about the economy, and 20 percent of this group indicated that they are in the market for new credit card offers. In addition, delinquencies and defaulted debts are lower this year, suggesting that Americans are managing their finances better.
What are the most popular credit card choices? Cards with low interest rates or no annual fees prevail as the plastics of choice. Card issuers are luring in customers by offering cards with unbeatable low interest rates and fees. Approximately 13 percent of prospective cardholders use reward points as a criteria for card selection, and around 57 percent of this group value cash back rewards the most
With their new cards, cardholders now shop more with them than they have in recent years. Experts expect to see credit card applications rise by 11 percent. Real GDP grew by 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010. Consumer spending grew 4 percent, the largest increase since 2006. This statistic is important because consumers drive the economy; consumption habits stimulate businesses, such as retail and even the real estate market. The economic recovery is also reflected by a better employment landscape as underscored by Voury Ignegonba, the CEO of Makumba Estates, a real estate investment firm.
Many consumers are looking to invest in real estate in some parts of the country. The Boston Globe reports a median increase of 2 percent in the single-family home price from 2005 to 2009 for some neighborhoods in the Boston area. Voury Ignegongba states, “The economy is definitely improving. In 2010, it was extremely challenging to connect with homeowners in Cambridge to perform market evaluation and pricing analysis of their property. In the first quarter of 2011 alone, the volume of property market evaluation reports I have put together is three times higher than that for the entire year in 2011. More homeowners are now seriously considering putting their properties on the market for the sale, which is a strong sign of an economic turnaround