Economy may be less taxed by low consumer expectations


Almost six in ten respondents to a survey conducted by say they are expecting a refund this year. And the ways they intend to spend it add up to fairly good news, according to the company behind the poll. One big leap is in the number that plan on using the cash to invest in a vacation.

Making elective expenditures is a positive thing, coming out of an environment where a lot of the money not spent on keeping a household afloat month to month was going toward either savings or debt paydown, both of which are static uses when it comes to jump starting a stagnant economy.

The Taxsoftware survey was last taken in 2006, before the crash, and at that time 16% of refund-receivers were planning on using some of it for a vacation. That number has almost doubled in the 2011 edition of the survey, rising to an impressive 30%.’s Mickey Macedo observed, “Millions of Americans apparently see a light at the end of the economic tunnel. This poll shows they are confident enough in the economy or their own jobs to already be planning to use tax refunds for vacations or to save, invest, or lower their debts. These are encouraging signs of the times that will likely have favorable ripple effects on other segments of the recovering economy.”

Other results:

* 66% are still planning on using funds for savings or investments, up from 55%

* 59% are planning to pay down debt, up from 52%

* 15% will donate to charity, down from 20%

* 31% will make home improvements, almost flat from 30%

* 23% will make big-ticket purchases, also almost flat with 24%

* 19% will defray mortgage or educations loans, also almost flat with 20%

* 38% identified their plans with the good old “other” category, up from 27%.

RBR-TVBR observation: The signs had been pointing down when the lightning bolts inflicted on the global economy was cast off by the financial collapse. While we have not seen anything remotely similar to those catastrophic events on the positive side, the flow of small optimistic signs continues unabated.