Nearly Half of Americans Plan to Make Substantial Purchase This Year

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Nearly half of Americans say they are very likely to make a considerable purchase — an airline ticket, furniture, a computer, a smartphone, a computer or home appliance — before the end of the year, according to a new Bankrate.com report, an indication of continued consumer confidence and a strengthening economy.

Consumer confidence rose in August to the second-highest level since late 2000, according to a Conference Board survey. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that the nation’s gross domestic product increased 3% in the second quarter.

Of the 116 million people who indicate a high likelihood of purchasing at least one of the aforementioned items this year, 57 million, or 49%, say they are very likely to buy an airline ticket, the top selection among the six categories. Another 40 million say they are somewhat likely, meaning more than two in five (41%) could reasonably be in the market for airfare in the year’s final months.

One-third of Americans indicate they are somewhat or very likely to buy furniture during the remainder of 2017. Computers (28%), smartphones (25%), home appliances (25%) and televisions (23%) are also possible purchase items.

“With the economy continuing on the right track and the holiday season quickly approaching, Americans are already anticipating purchasing big ticket items like airline tickets, televisions and computers,” said Bankrate.com credit card analyst Robin Saks Frankel.

Younger millennials (18 to 26) are the group that indicates the highest likelihood of making at least one of these purchases in 2017 (68%), including 28% who are very likely to buy a desktop, laptop or tablet computer.

Overall, full-time workers, high earners ($75,000 or more per year), college graduates and Democrats are the most likely to indicate a high probability of buying at least one of the items before year’s end.

However, the lowest income households (under $30,000 a year) are almost twice as likely to indicate a somewhat or high probability of buying a television this year than peak earners (31% vs. 16%).

Of those survey respondents earning $75,000 or more per year, 65% indicate they’re somewhat or very likely to purchase an airline ticket, compared with 31% of those making less than $30,000 annually.