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Economic Perceptions vs. Reality

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A new CBS News/YouGov national poll deals mostly with politics, but since most politics influences policy, especially the economy, the results are worth considering. 

In the survey, a significant majority of U.S. adults were reported to be dissatisfied with the state of the U.S. economy.  When asked to pick a word that best described the condition of the economy, 61 percent said the economy was best described as “struggling;” 56 percent said it was “uncertain;” 36 percent said it was “punishing.” 

Less than a quarter of respondents – 21 percent – believe the economy is getting better; 58 percent think it’s getting worse. A full 70 percent or respondents said their salaries are not keeping up with inflation.

In Washington, the divergent economic data and solid employment numbers indicate a healthier economic standing for the nation than its citizens perceive in their wallets and bank accounts. Perhaps this all reflects a “new normal” for the economy, and the public will adjust. But the public sentiment should still serve as a reminder to policymakers: when consumers must pay for food, gas, mortgages, rent and vehicles, travel, health care, a pizza or a trip to the ballpark, they have two options: cash or credit.  

Such efforts as imposing rate caps, attacking “junk fees” that aren’t junk at all, but are allowed by state law and clearly disclosed, or other proposals that limit access to credit, are unhelpful at any time for many consumers, but particularly in more challenging economic times and for consumers who already have limited access to many forms of credit other folks take for granted, like a credit card. The public sentiment remains decidedly downturned on the state of the economy, and as is often the case, perception is reality.  But the data on the harm limiting access to credit creates is real and growing. If, as Washington’s data indicates, the economy is increasingly healthy, then policymakers should take a page from healthcare professionals, and first, do no harm. 

Economic Perceptions vs. Reality
Aug 01, 2023

A new CBS News/YouGov national poll deals mostly with politics, but since most politics influences policy, especially the economy, the results are worth considering. 

In the survey, a significant majority of U.S. adults were reported to … Read the rest

About Those Rejection Rates
Jul 31, 2023

Several recent news stories have reported on historically high rejection rates for auto loans (see here, here, and here for example).  But policymakers, as well as the media, should ensure they have the proper context for this data.

It is … Read the rest

WANTED: Dynamic Podcast Guests
Jul 28, 2023

Pitch the Extra Credit Podcast: On the Lookout for Dynamic Guests

Want to share innovative content, fresh ideas and reach consumer credit and vehicle finance industry leaders?

AFSA’s well-known Extra Credit Podcast is once again looking… Read the rest

CFPB Releases Supervisory Highlights Report
Jul 28, 2023

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) this week released a new Supervisory Highlights report. In doing so, it announced, “CFPB Exams Find Unfair, Deceptive, and Abusive Practices Across a Wide Array of Consumer Financial Product… Read the rest

LISTEN | Changing Perspective on Auto Finance
Jul 27, 2023

In this edition of the AFSA Extra Credit Podcast, we chat with Robert Steenbergh, Founder & CEO of AutoPayPlus which offers consumers a flexible auto financing schedule that matches payments with paychecks.

We have a broad conversation… Read the rest

About That Subcommittee Hearing
Jul 26, 2023

In light of the Biden Administration’s policy initiative targeting “junk fees,” the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection held a hearing today entitled, Taking Account of Fees and Tactics ImpactingRead the rest

News from our Members | Alfa customers scoop awards at Summer Event
Jul 26, 2023

Alfa, provider of Alfa Systems, the class-leading technology platform for auto and equipment finance, has reported an impressive haul for its customers at the 2023 Asset Finance Connect awards.

  • Outstanding Achievement Award: Louise McIntosh,
Read the rest

Three Economists Walk into a Bar…
Jul 25, 2023

With election politics, the final financial quarter of 2023, the holiday shopping season, and financial planning for 2024 around the corner, discussions about the U.S. economy are no joke.

So, what better time to hear from AFSA Chief Economist… Read the rest

News From Our Members | PayNearMe Expands Bill Pay Options with Cash App Pay Integration
Jul 19, 2023

PayNearMe clients can now offer their customers alternative bill payment options using all major mobile wallets and payment apps.

Digital wallets have become increasingly popular among consumers, as many millennials and Gen Z customers… Read the rest

Elevate In Salt Lake | The Grand America
Jul 18, 2023

 

Our 2023 Annual Meeting is just around the corner at The Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, from Oct. 1-4! What better way to start your fall off than a thought-provoking, engaging conference in the Best State as rated by U.S.Read the rest

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