Consumer confidence and spending hit new lows last month, while more consumers are trying to put more savings aside than in previous months, suggests a new report Discover Financial Services released today. The Riverwoods, Ill.-based company's monthly U.S. Spending Monitor hit an all-time low in February, falling more than two points to 75.7 after showing a slight increase in January (CardLine, 2/4). The index was pegged at 100 when Discover introduced it in May 2007. A record high of 82% of consumers in February said they intended to spend the same amount overall during the next month, and 77% said they succeeded in doing so during the previous month. For the second consecutive month, some 57% of respondents said they planned to save or invest the same or more during the next month, the highest percentage since October 2008. Though Congress passed the $789 billion stimulus package last month, 69% of consumers surveyed in February said they felt economic conditions were getting worse compared with 67% who said so in January. Only 6% of consumers surveyed last month said the economy was good or excellent, and only 8% believed the economy was improving, both new Monitor lows. Rasmussen Reports conducted the telephone survey of 13,000 U.S. adults each evening throughout the month.

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