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More consumers have a pessimistic outlook about the economy than did in May and, not surprisingly, fewer are optimistic.

Reality Check: The Paycheck-To-Paycheck Report, a PYMNTS and LendingClub collaboration, found that 40% of consumers now have a negative view, while only 34% are optimistic. In May, 32% were pessimistic about the economy and 44% were optimistic.

Get the report: Reality Check: The Paycheck-To-Paycheck Report

One thing weighing on consumer forecasts for the year ahead is the slow recovery from the pandemic’s setbacks that some have experienced. Understandably, people who are struggling to make ends meet and find it difficult to pay their bills each month worry about their financial security.

The impact of the pandemic on consumers’ personal finances has been varied. The pandemic seemed to pass over some consumers and leave others with deep and lasting wounds to their financial health.

One-third of consumers say their personal financial situation worsened because of the pandemic. Some have recovered and some have not.

Eighteen percent of all consumers said their situation worsened and they have been unable to fully recover. Fourteen percent of the overall respondents said their situation worsened but they have been able to fully recover.

Among the rest of the consumers surveyed, 53% said they had no change to their financial status and 15% of overall respondents said their situation improved.

Consumers who have not recovered from the pandemic’s economic harm display a mixed outlook when asked how they expect their financial status to change in 2022. Of this group, 37% say their status will improve, 34% believe it will be worse and 29% expect it will remain unchanged.

Among all other consumers, 59% predict no change to their financial situation over the coming year, 32% expect improvement and only 9% believe it will be worse.



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