Survey: Consumers skeptical of economic turnaround, pack on holiday debt  

More than one in three Americans overspent during the holidays, according to a recent survey from WalletHub—though more people seemed to think it was worth it. Forty-three percent more people said it was worth going into credit card debt for the holidays this year compared to last holiday season, while nearly 25% said they regretted holiday purchases.

Consumers overall added $80 billion in credit card debt during the fourth quarter of 2022, according to WalletHub, and 31% of Americans said 2022 was a “poor” year for their finances overall. And all of the overspending didn’t come without some other forms of risk: Twenty-three percent of Americans reported encountering scams while doing their holiday shopping. The survey said that 19% of Americans expect to have more credit card debt at the end of 2023, and almost one out of three plan to get a new credit card this year for better rewards or a lower interest rate.

“Fifty-nine percent of people do not expect the economy to go back to normal this year,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst, adding that consumers are feeling “too much pressure from inflation and are too spooked by the threat of a recession to entertain the idea of economic normalcy.” Despite increasingly high interest rates and skepticism about the economy, consumers plan to continue relying on credit card debt to fuel their spending in 2023, Gonzalez said.