Women More Upbeat on Economy Than Men

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Women are just as optimistic that their financial situations will improve in the next year, with 66% saying their own money matters are improving and 56% saying they expect the economy where they live to improve within the next year, according to Citi’s survey of 2,005 adults conducted in late June.

Meanwhile, 62% of men are optimistic that their financial situations will improve in the next 12 months, according to a study by financial services company Citi (Stock Quote: C). That’s down from 66% in March.

Men seem to have grown more pessimistic overall.  Currently, 50% of men think the economy where they live will improve in the next 12 months, compared with 58% in March, Citi reports.

At the same time, more women than men think we’re still a long way from the overall economy hitting bottom. About 65% of women and about 60% of men said it’s going to take years before we see the worst of the recession.

About 63% of women think it will take at least two or three years for the economy as a whole to stabilize, while 61% of men see an actual recovery taking that long, Citi reports.

More dramatically, 31% of women and 25% of men think it will actually take four years or more to see a recovery, Citi found.

“Many women are CFOs of their households, controlling the purse strings on purchases, so their positive near-term outlook on the economy may be a positive indicator for recovery,” said Lisa Caputo, Citi’s Chief Marketing Officer in a press release. “However, it’s clear they have tempered expectations that recovery and stability for their households may remain in the far distant future.”

Health care cost concerns were particularly troubling, Citi found.  About 12% of women said it was their biggest worry, while 10% of women surveyed were most worried about credit card debt, 5% were most worried about mortgage debt and 5% were most worried about paying off student loans, according to the bank’s survey.

But saving for an emergency was also a big priority for women of all ages and incomes.  About 27% of women surveyed said their biggest goal in saving was to have funds for emergencies or other unexpected expenses.

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