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Poll: NJ Residents Lukewarm on 2014 Financial Progress [AUDIO]

Do you think things will improve for you financially in 2014?  If you said no, you’re not alone. 

Man Stressed Over Money
Cheryl Casey, ThinkStock

The 2014 Winter Report on New Jersey Consumer Confidence released Monday by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind, finds almost half of Garden State residents predict their financial situation won’t change at all in 2014.  Thirty percent expect improvement and 17 percent think their finances will worsen.

“These numbers are pretty much unchanged from when the same question was asked at the same time in 2013,” said Krista Jenkins, director of PublicMind and professor of political science at FDU.

A year ago, 42 percent expected stasis, 34 percent expected things to improve and 20 percent expressed pessimism.

So how did New Jersey residents fare financially in 2013?  Fifteen percent said things had gotten better for them, 58 percent said things were unchanged financially and 27 percent said things got worse for them.

“Holding steady seems to be the takeaway, although this is certainly preferable to learning that many in the state experienced major setbacks and have a grim outlook on the future,” Jenkins said. “On the one hand things don’t seem to be worsening, but at the same time the long awaited economic recovery still seems slow to arrive in New Jersey.”

Nearly half say a close friend or relative lost a job in the past year.

Not all the news is bad.  New Jerseyans engaged in more spending than they anticipated doing a year ago. In 2013, 16 percent said they planned to purchase or lease a new car in the coming year.  When asked a year later if they had purchased or leased a car, 25 percent responded yes.

The poll also reveals there’s little change on discretionary spending in 2014 versus 2013.  Across the board, from car purchases to buying or refinancing houses, there’s little movement in anticipated expenditures from 2013 to 2014.

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